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September 25, 2013
The trial of
human rights defender Beatrice Mtetwa on charges of obstructing
the course of justice resumed yesterday with the State’s third
witness, Detective Sergeant Ngatirwe Mamiza, giving a different
version of circumstances surrounding the alleged commotion.
Mtetwa was arrested
on March 17 this year after she allegedly blocked police from searching
her client Thabani Mpofu’s residence. She has pleaded not
guilty to the charge.
Early this month,
one of the witnesses, Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage,
told the court that the search at Mpofu’s residence continued
even after Mtetwa’s arrest.
yesterday said the police team aborted the search soon after the
lawyer allegedly became abusive and caused commotion at the scene,
thereby attracting public attention.
he was terrified with the manner Mtetwa exhibited herself and wondered
where she had gotten the authority to challenge the police officers
He said this
was after Mtetwa allegedly labelled the officers “Mugabe’s
dogs” and ordered them to stop whatever they were doing which
she said was “undemocratic”.
scared to conduct my duties properly because I did not know who
the accused (Mtetwa) was. However, Chief Superintendent Luxmore
Mukazhi, who was known to the accused, tried to calm her down and
Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage offered her the search
warrant, but she refused to accept it,” Mamiza said.
he was part of a team of police officers which raided and searched
Mpofu is director
of research at former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office.
on the day in question, Mtetwa arrived at Mpofu’s residence
in Westgate after police officers had already shown Mpofu their
search warrant and were already searching the premises.
Asked at what
stage the search warrant was produced and shown to Mpofu, Mamiza
said immediately after opening his gate, Mpofu met Mukazhi and after
some introductions, he was shown the search warrant, but he reluctantly
accepted it and gave the police officers the green light to conduct
asked Mamiza to confirm whether it would be false if someone would
testify that Mpofu was handed the search warrant while in his bedroom,
to which Mamiza said it would be a lie.
As Mamiza continued
with his evidence, director of public prosecutions Tawanda Zvekare
asked him to comment on Mtetwa’s allegations that the State
had an axe to grind with the human rights lawyer, an assertion he
by Mtetwa, Mamiza denied that he had met her before, but Mtetwa
insisted she had met him twice prior to the day in question.
The trial continues
today before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
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