THE trial of persecuted human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa resumed on Monday 2 September 2013 at the Harare Magistrates Court with the second witness out of nine lined up by the State testifying. Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage testified as the second witness before Harare Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa after Mtetwa and her lawyer Harrison Nkomo finished cross examining Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi.
Chibage appeared to be damaging the State’s evidence which it is relying upon to secure a conviction after he indicated that Mtetwa could not have interfered with the police search of outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and communications office located in Avondale suburb as she was under arrest and detained in a police vehicle and at the same time hand cuffed. Mtetwa, who was arrested on 17 March 2013 was charged with contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
Tawanda Zvekare, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the Attorney General’s Office is leading the prosecution. During Mtetwa’s trial, some truncheon wielding police officers loitered inside the court house. Some of the State witnesses who are lined to testify include Detective Constable Ngatirwe Mamiza, Detective Sergeant Taizivei Tembo, Assistant Inspector Thabani Nkomo, Chido Chawanikwa, a police officer, Stembiwe Vera, a caretaker at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and development office, Brian Mutusva, a computer technician in the PM’s Office and a driver, Zororai Mudariki.
Meanwhile, the trial of Arnold Tsunga, the MDC-T Member of Parliament-elect for Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency together with 49 other MDC-T supporters commences on Tuesday 3 September 2013 at Mutare Magistrates Court. Tsunga was arrested on 19 July 2013 together with 49 other MDC-T supporters and charged with committing criminal nuisance in contravention of Section 46 (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23. The 50 MDC-T supporters were arrested while exercising their political rights to association and expression after conducting a door to door political campaign on the eve of the harmonised elections. Tinoziva Bere of Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners, Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Passmore Nyakureba on Maunga Maanda Legal Practitioners are representing the 50 MDC-T supporters.