Emotions run high at MDC activists' trial

HARARE - A three-year-old without a mother for more than a year and an emotionally charged lawyer making a gripping plea for the state to end delaying tactics, became the highlights of the latest episode of the MDC 29 activists murder trial.

An emotionally-charged Beatrice Mtetwa, representing the weary 29 MDC activists, lashed at the prosecutor saying he wanted them to “serve a sentence which they had not been sentenced”, while denying a three-year- old of his mother’s love and care.

One of the accused, Cynthia Manjoro, has been separated from her son whom the court was reminded that he needed his mother’s care.

“We have just heard in the court that Cynthia’s three-year-old son is without a mother, yet he (Nyazamba) cannot explain why his witness cannot be present in court,” charged Mtetwa in a shaky voice as she sought answers from prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba.

Manjoro had to be whisked from the court soon after adjournment as she was in tears.

An infuriated Mtetwa said Nyazamba’s actions were not acceptable and not justified as his children were enjoying the privileges of having their father around.

“We have only sat for 26 minutes yet we were supposed to sit for at least two-and a-half hours,” lamented Mtetwa moments after Nyazamba had told the court that his next witness was not available as he had scheduled him for today’s appearance.

High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu then told Nyazamba to orderly strategise his witnesses so that no further delays of that nature can be repeated.

Manjoro’s brother, Steven had earlier told the court that one detective Makedenge and Machaya had told him his sister was being held in custody as bait until her friend Darlington Madzonga who is said to have been driving her car had been apprehended.

When Cynthia was arrested together with her brother who was later released, her son was only two years and is now being cared for by her brother Steven and her mother, the court heard.

Steven said he was held in police custody for about four days without being charged for any criminal offence.
“I was held together with Tungamirai Madzokere’s wife and sister who were later released when Madzokere had been apprehended,” he said.

It was Steven’s testimony that his sister Cynthia could not have been driving her vehicle on the day of the supposed murder as she cannot drive and had alibis that could prove she was nowhere near Glen View when the offence was committed.

Before his testimony one of the arresting officers, Victor Mafavhuke said he arrested some of the accused based on information he had been told by his informants who did not identify them after they had been arrested.

He said he was not at Glen View 3 when the incident occurred. The trial continues today. - Bridget Mananavire

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