A Mutare magistrate today relaxed stringent bail conditions for Deputy Agriculture Minister designate Roy Bennet, who is facing charges of contravening sections of the Public Order and Security Act.
The former Chimanimani legislator, who is on bail, is facing charges of possessing weapons for purposes of terrorism.
Lucy Mungwari, who presided over the case today said Bennet should report to police station once a week and not three days a week.
He will now present hismeslf at the Harare Central CID Law and Order Section every Friday, following an agreement between the defence team represented by Trust Maanda and Tawanda Zvekare, Chief Law officer from the Attorney General’s Office.
The defence council, represented by Trust Maanda, said they have agreed with the state to give Bennet a long remand period such that by the next remand date the state should have finalized their case and come up with a trial date.
The defence told the court that if the state fails to provide a trial date in July they will vigorously oppose any further remand and will apply for the removal of Bennet from remand.
Magistrate Mungwari said since the state has made an undertaking to finalise the matter and come up with a trial date for Bennet during the next remand date in July, it should be taken seriously.
Bennet fled the country in 2006 when the police were looking for him in connection with the discovery of arms cache at Peter Hitchmann’s house, which included an AK 47 rifle, 4 FN riffles, 7 Uzis, 19 pistols and revolvers, 11 shotguns and an assortment of ammunition.
President Mugabe has reportedly vowed that he would not swear Bennet “because he has a serious case to answer”.
Reports say Mugabe ‘banged the desk” saying he will not swear him in when he met Prime Minister Motgan Tsvangira last week. He told them to appeal to SADC if they were not satisfied,” said one of the sources.