By Petronilla Mukamuri/Faith Chapfika
Harare West Legislator Joanna Mamombe out on bail has been committed into remand prison for two weeks ostensibly for mental assessment under the supervison of the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services.
Despite her warrant of arrest being cancelled after she failed to appear for court two weeks ago Mamombe is back in prisons for physic evaluation.
Her lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Jeremiah Bhamu presented witnesses who testified that Mamombe was mentally ill and unfit to stand trial, prompting the state to file an application requesting the court to commit Mamombe to a government medical facility where she will be assessed by two government doctors.
Magistrate Bianca Makwande granted the state and ordered that Mamombe spends two weeks in remand, being examined by neutral doctors who are supposed to give independent reports before the courts. During that process Mamombe will be under the care of the Superintended of Remand Prison.
“Accused person has to be examined by two doctors who must each give independent reports. She is to be placed under the care of the Superintendent of Harare Remand prison for two weeks effective today,” said Makwande.
The court is duty bound to know whether the accused person can stand trial since she is entitled to a fair trial said Makwande. She delivered her ruling saying that Mamombe has to be assessed for the court to believe if she is truly mentally handicapped since facts before the court proves that she is mentally ill.
“Facts before the court clearly shows that Mamombe was mentally disturbed. Court is clearly bound to get a clear picture of her mentality and she has a right to fair trial,” said Makwande.
She added that since the court is not an expert on mentality and it requires expert advice to ascertain if the diagnosis was correct, to what extent and whether it will affect the trial.
‘’Accused should be examined by specialists. She has to be examined by two doctors who must each give independent reports,’’ said Makwande.
The trial of the trio accused of faking their own abduction will now kick off on October 8 when Mamobe’s mental examination is expected to have been completed.
It is the state’s that Mamombe, Netsai Marowa and Cecilia Chimbiri allegedly faked their abduction after illegally participating in an illegal Warren Park demonstration violating lockdown regulations.