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Violence, recrimination and arrests after policeman's death in Glen View - Index of articles
raps police's unprofessional conduct in Zimbabwe’s mass acquittals
of murder suspects
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 19, 2013
High Court Judge
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu on Thursday 19 September 2013 railed on
Zimbabwe’s police officers over their unprofessional conduct
in the arrest
and detention of several human rights and political activists
who were charged over the murder of a police officer, Inspector
In a judgment
delivered on Thursday morning in Court A at the High Court, Justice
Bhunu chided police officers for their unprofessional conduct in
arresting human rights campaigner Cynthia
Manjoro and MDC-T youth assembly president Solomon
Madzore and other activists as they did not have credible evidence
linking them to the commission of the offence. The judge said the
police had arrested Manjoro as an inducement for her boyfriend to
surrender himself to the police in connection with the commission
of the offence.
of a total of 29 activists including the deceased
Rebecca Mafikeni, the High Court Judge passed a not guilty verdict
on 21 of them and subsequently acquitted them after determining
that the State had failed to prove a prima face case against the
human rights and political activists and that nothing would be gained
by the State by placing them on their defence.
The 21 activists include
Cynthia Manjoro, Solomon Madzore, Stanford Maengahama, Stanford
Mangwiro, Sydney Chiromo, Jeffias Moyo, Abina Rutsito, Tendayi Chinyama,
Memory Ncube, Kerina Gweshe, Gabriel Shumba, Stefani Takaidzwa,
Linda Musiyamhanje, Tafadzwa Billiat, Simon Mudimu, Zwelibanze Dube,
Simon Mapanzure, Edwin Muingiri, Augustine Tengenyika, Francis Vambai
and Nyamadzawo Gapara.
However, seven of the
residents namely Tungamirai Madzokere, Yvonne Musarurwa, Last Maengahama,
Lazaraus Maengahama were placed on their defence after the Judge
determined that the State had established a prima facie case against
them and their trial will continue at a later date after Justice
Bhunu postponed the matter indefinitely.
Justice Bhunu said he
had placed some of the residents on their defence to allow them
to call in witnesses to substantiate their defence.
The acquittal of the
21 activists came after their lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa, Charles
Kwaramba, Gift Mtisi and Jeremiah Bamu filed an application for
discharge at the close of the State’s case in June.
in 2011 and charged with contravening Section 47 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for allegedly
murdering Inspector Mutedza at a bar in Harare’s high density
suburb of Glen View. Alternatively, the residents were also charged
with committing public violence in contravention of Section 36 of
the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
During the high profile
trial, prosecutors alleged that the activists chanted MDC-T party
slogans, denounced the police and threw stones, empty beer bottles,
steel stool frames and other missiles at six uniformed police officers
resulting in the death of Inspector Mutedza, a charge which they
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