Judgment reserved in MDC activists' bail application

HARARE - High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday reserved judgment on a bail application made by 29 MDC activists accused of killing a police inspector in Glen View last year.

However, the trial of the murder of Inspector Petros Mutedza is expected to commence on Monday while Bhunu makes his considerations.

Bhunu had suggested he postponed the bail hearing to today in which state prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said he would not be available.

The MDC activists, including party youth assembly leader Solomon Madzore, have been languishing in remand prison for the past 16 months. They made their first court appearance in June last year.

In opposing the bail application, Nyazamba said through their testimonies of what they noted while examining the body of the deceased, the relatives were trying to sensationalise the trial and remove the court’s attention.

“If it is anything to go by (evidence by the family), it is not based on facts but ignorance, emotion and speculation. They just examined the body but did not carry out any investigation,” said Nyazamba.

But, leading the defence team Beatrice Mtetwa said the evidence of the missing body parts and testimony by the bereaved (father and son) constituted exceptional circumstances which should be considered by the court in granting bail.

The defence team constituted of Mtetwa, Alec Muchadehama, Jeremiah Bhamu, and Gift Mtisi.

While Bhunu has on several occasions denied the MDC activists bail, the defence is still hopeful it shall be granted.

Earlier during the hearing a younger brother of the late Mutedza’s and his father said they believed the accused were innocent and therefore should be released while the police make thorough investigation on the real perpetrators.

The state had alleged that Mutedza had been killed on May 29 last year in Glen View 3 after a brawl with MDC activists when the accused allegedly started shouting at the officers and began throwing stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at the police. - Bridget Mananavire

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