MUTARE – High Court Judge Justice Francis Bere has granted free bail to “prominent Mutare dealer” Farai Rimai who had been in remand prison since December last year on a charge of raping a then 16-year-old schoolgirl.
Rimai who prior to his re-arrest last December had been released earlier on by the courts and that he would re-appear in court by way of summons, but the police re-arrested him shortly before he had enjoyed his freedom reportedly on instructions from “above”.
High Court Judge Bere released Rimai on free bail unconditionally after his attorney Victor Chinzamba had made an application to a higher court challenging the re-arrest of the “businessman” by the police, as he had been released by the courts. Chinzamba had argued the re-arrest was unlawful.
On releasing Rimai, Justice Bere ruled that the lower court had erred as the accused had earlier been released and that he would appear in court by way of summons and that his arrest had had no change of circumstances. He said since the accused had been re-arrested before being called to court by way of summons without change of
circumstances it was tantamount infringing on his rights.
The state led by chief law officer Michael Mugabe in its submissions conceded to the application for the granting of bail to Rimai citing that Rimai’s re-arrest was “unlawful” and that his placement on remand was also “unlawful” as the accused’s appearance by way on summons had not been flouted.
Rimai, who last year had been reported to have been on the run after allegedly abducting and raping a 16-year-old Hillcrest College pupil in the eastern border city has been in Mutare remand prison for nearly seven months.
Rimai made news headline late last year as the police said the“dealer” was on AWOL and also top on their wanted list whilst he would be seen at most public social joints enjoying and partying with friends.
The state alleges that the “businessman” on August 4, 2010 at around midnight reportedly dragged the teenager from a school function in the city centre into his vehicle before raping her once.
The case, CR 41/08/10, was reported at Mutare Central Police Station on August 5 last year.
Rimai is denying the rape charge