Police refuse to disclose informants

HARARE - A Police officer who arrested 29 MDC activists accused of murdering a police inspector last year in May refused to divulge the names of his informants in court.

This emerged at the ongoing trial of the MDC activists arrested for the murder of police inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View last year. The activists have been languishing in prison for the past 16 months.

High court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu was presiding over the case.

The arresting officer Detective Chief Inspector Obert Maida, who is a state witness, said he did not give the names of his “informants” to the investigating officer.

He claimed his informants had told him the three Maengehama brothers were involved in the murder.

He refused to divulge his sources in court.

Defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa asked if there was a way of verifying the existence or credibility of the information supplied by the arresting officer.

“No,” Maida responded.

Mtetwa then asked if Maida wanted the accused to be tried based on information supplied by “faceless, nameless” sources that could not be verified.

He refused to comment on Mtetwa’s query.

Maida also told the court he recovered two MDC T-shirts at the Maengehama home in Glen View and took them as evidence under the assumption they belonged to the owner of the house Last Maengahama.

The detective inspector, who said he was officer in charge homicide Harare, said he did not enquire further.

He said he was also the one who arrested the driver of a company vehicle that was said to have been seen at the murder scene in Glen View but could not verify if the accused Phineas Nhatarikwa was the one driving the vehicle on the day.

Maida, who is the 11th state witness to testify, said he was not aware if there was a connection at all between the accused and the murder case.

“My duty was to receive information, effect arrests and hand them to the investigating officer (Clever Ntini), there were other teams responsible for investigating and recording statements,” Maida said.

However, the State team represented by Edmore Nyazamba was accused of deliberately employing delaying tactics. - Bridget Mananavire


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