DJ Fantan, Dammer and Levels seek jail release on bail pending appeal

DJ Fantan, Dammer and Levels seek jail release on bail pending appeal

Judgement has been reserved after three music promoters jailed over a New Year’s Eve gig which breached Covid-19 regulations applied to the High Court for bail pending appeal against their sentences.

Arnold Kamudyariwa, popularly known as DJ Fantan; Tafadzwa Kadzimwe, also known as Levels and music promoter Dammer, born Simbarashe Chanachimwe, were sentenced to 12 months in prison by Harare provincial head magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti last week. She conditionally suspended six months of the sentence.

Tafadzwa Hungwe, a member of the trio’s legal team, told ZimLive on Friday: “Their appeal has been heard before Justice Davison Foroma at the Harare High Court, but judgement was reserved.”

Lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni submitted the trio’s appeal on Wednesday.

The lawyer told the court that the three men were not going to abscond if granted bail, asking the court to weigh favourably that they surrendered themselves to the police and cooperated well during court proceedings in the lower court where they entered guilty pleas.

“It is submitted, with due reverence, that the applicants harbour no intentions of absconding from justice,” said Mthombeni.

“During investigations and at court, the applicants were highly and exceptionally cooperative; as such an inference of them absconding if granted bail cannot be sustained in the circumstances,” he argued.

The trio staged a party attended by thousands of people outside Matapi Flats in Mbare.

Prosecutors equated their actions to attempted murder, charging that the gig was a coronavirus super-spreader event.

Health minister and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, in a statement on Friday, referred to the gig for the first time.

“It’s unfortunate that some of our people continued to defy lockdown measures., as we might have noticed in Mbare, where some errant youths decided, in their own wisdom or lack of it, to organise a musical showcase,” Chiwenga said.

“If all our people maintained a positive attitude towards measures to combat the coronavirus, there was not going to be any need for imposition of a national lockown.”