Shocking twist to murdered cop case

By Bridget Mananavire

HARARE -
Tichaona Mutedza, the brother of murdered police Inspector Petros Mutedza, told the High Court yesterday that the deceased’s private parts and tongue were missing.  

He sensationally claimed that the 29 accused should be set free as the real killers are still free.

Mutedza, 39,  younger brother to the deceased, told High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that he doubted the 29 Glen View residents stoned him to death as the State claims saying his brother’s injuries were not consistent with the said cause of his death.

“As I was running my hand down his body I felt that his private parts were not there,” he said in stunning testimony to the court.

“His head had a crack on the left side; there was a hole filled with cotton at the back of his head and another opening on his forehead. His shirt’s left sleeve was torn and his right cheek had an opening like something had pierced through it.”

The state claims the Inspector was killed on May 29 last year by the 29 “MDC activists” after they allegedly started shouting at the police squad that included Insp Mutedza. The Glen View residents allegedly threw stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at the police.

But Mutedza said he suspected foul play when the state tried to sideline the family in most issues involving his brother’s burial.

He said the Mutedza family had only managed to identify the deceased two days after he had been killed.

He said the family was not allowed to witness the post mortem or his dressing at a local funeral parlour.

“It was after we had managed to take a peek of his body as a family that we identified that his private parts were missing including his tongue,” the younger Mutedza said.

“We could not alert the police of our discoveries as they had told us that they were officers for Zanu PF. The state also promised to inform us of the trial dates but up till now they had not informed us. It was us after realising that the trial had gone for so long and that we have been missing from the trial which  involved our relative that we made an effort to come."

“These people should be set free while the real perpetrators are investigated, they are all innocent,” said Mutedza, referring to some of the accused who have spent up to 16 months in remand prison.  

Mutedza’s claims were part of the evidence led by the defence team led by Beatrice Mtetwa as to why the accused were eligible for bail.

Mtetwa said because the bulk of state witnesses had testified, the reason of the accused interfering with witnesses was out.

She said the postponement of the trial and appeal by the state signified a change of circumstances which should be strong enough to admit the 29 into bail.

“This is indication that the case is simply not taking the seriousness of the case, particularly that the accused have been in custody for 16 months. The reasons regarding appeals are not compelling to delay the case of persons deemed innocent until proven guilty,” Mtetwa said.

Furthermore, she said five of the accused needed medical attention which they had not been granted as the prison officials wanted them to buy diesel to take them to hospital. She said further incarceration was subjecting them to health hazards.

The hearing was adjourned to today.

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