Conditions attached to bail (Zimbabwe)
Conditions may be added
- requiring X to surrender all his passports and travel documents;
- specifying that he report to the police or other authority at a specified place and at specified times;
- forbidding him from going to particular places (in land acquisition cases a person contesting the acquisition of his farm cannot be ordered not to go back to his farm; he can only be evicted after being convicted of failing to vacate a farm that has been lawfully acquired See Micklethwait HH-3-03 and Prior HH-163-02;
- prohibiting him from communicating with prosecution witnesses;
- imposing other conditions as to his conduct, such as that he places himself under the care and supervision of a particular organization.
Once conditions are imposed, it is not permissible for the state to seek further conditions to those already imposed in the absence of further violations while on bail. In Tsvangirai & Ors HH-92-03 the accused were on trial on charges of treason. They had been granted bail, and had not breached any of the conditions. The State applied to have further conditions added. It alleged that the accused had indulged in activities which occurred after the grant of bail and which were unlawful and bordered on treason. No charges were being brought in respect of those alleged activities. It was held that the grant of bail is a consequence of the arrest and remand of an accused person on a specific charge. The nature of the offence charged and other relevant considerations are factors to be taken into account in determining the grant or refusal of bail and, where such bail is granted, the conditions to be attached to the recognizance. Any conditions attached to a recognizance must have some bearing to the offence of which the accused is charged, in particular the need to secure his attendance; to ensure that he does not interfere with the evidence and to ensure that he does not commit further offences whilst awaiting trial. The conditions added to the recognizance cannot refer to some other allegation that the accused person may possibly face in future and in respect of which he has not been charged. What the State wanted was to prevent the accused from conducting themselves unlawfully. It could not do so through conditions added to bail.
In another linked application, the court expressed the view that conditions should be imposed where these can dispense with State fears adequately. In Tsvangirai HH-100-03 the applicant, along with 2 others, was on trial on charges of treason. They had been granted bail, and had not breached any of the conditions. The State unsuccessfully applied to have further conditions added. That application was dismissed on the grounds that bail conditions cannot refer to some other allegation that the accused person may possibly face in future and in respect of which he has not been charged. The applicant was then arrested on a further charge of treason, based on statements he was alleged to have made, urging a mass stay-away as a means of removing the government from power. The State conceded that it had no reason to fear that the applicant would not stand trial or interfere with the evidence, but expressed apprehension that, if granted bail, the applicant was likely to commit or influence his supporters to commit similar crimes; that the applicant has a propensity to commit such crimes when out of custody. The court held that the fact that the applicant was facing other charges previously preferred against him and for which he had not been convicted was not by itself a reason for denying him bail. However, the State's fears that he might commit similar crimes were not totally unfounded, but were not incapable of being catered for by the imposition of appropriate conditions, something the court was empowered to do. Bail would be granted on that basis.