HARARE, Dec 31 – A Zimbabwe court Wednesday ordered 16 activists to remain in jail pending a Supreme Court hearing on accusations that they plotted to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The magistrates’ court did not rule on the charges against them, but said leading human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and the other 15 activists should remain in custody pending a ruling by the nation’s highest court.
"This matter remains to be decided in the Supreme Court and the accused cannot be released," Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said.
Mukoko and her colleagues at the Zimbabwe Peace Project are accused of recruiting or inciting people to undergo military training to fight Mugabe’s government.
Nine activists from other groups, including opposition party members, were charged with bombing and acts of banditry, or complicity in such plots.
Two other activists facing lesser charges, including a driver for Mukoko’s Zimbabwe Peace Project, were released.
Guvamombe on Monday had ordered that all the accused be examined by doctors of their choice while in detention, but it was not clear if they had received any medical visits yet.