MDC activists bail ruling tomorrow

HARARE - Twenty nine MDC activists accused of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza last year will have to wait more before a verdict on their bail application is made.

The bail ruling that was supposed to be made on Monday was postponed to tomorrow after High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu said he was not ready to make a ruling on the latest bail bid.

Last week, the judge said he needed more time to determine the case.

Some of the MDC activists have been languishing in remand prison for over 15 months now.

Lead defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa last week wrote to Bhunu submitting the time frame for bail ruling delivery.

But yesterday Madzore and his co-accused walked into an unfamiliar courtroom as state prosecutors were conspicuously absent from the proceedings.

Defence lawyers have accused lead prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba — a former cop, of delaying justice by absconding.

Following a now too familiar script of postponed court sessions, hopeful friends and relatives keen to hear the bail ruling went back home with no joy.

While Bhunu has on several occasions denied the MDC activists bail, the defence team is still hopeful the activists will be released owing to changing dynamics of the dragging case.

During bail hearing last month, Mutedza’s brother and father exonerated the MDC activists and blamed Zanu PF for the death of their relative.

Tichaona Mutedza, brother of the slain cop claimed his brother was killed by Zanu PF, as the party members had threatened his family before.

Tichaona’s father Solomon said they had buried Petros without his genitals.

They also claimed his tongue was sliced off.

The testimonies from close relatives contradicted sharply with state claims that “one strike on the head by MDC activists” had killed the police officer.

Mtetwa said the testimonies by the aggrieved, time spent by the accused in prison (16 months) and other new developments constituted exceptional circumstances which should be considered in granting bail.

The state alleges Mutedza was killed on May 29 last year after a brawl with MDC activists. - Bridget Mananavire

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