Illness drags Glen View murder trial

HARARE - Illness is keeping the Glen View murder trial at bay.

The long-running trial, in which 29 MDC activists are accused of murdering a police inspector in Glen View last year, has previously suffered delays due to various complications but the illness of presiding officers has affected the case recently.

Yesterday, defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told a few people who had made it to court that High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu was ill hence trial could not resume.

The trial is expected to continue next Monday.

The judge, however, met with the defence team in his chambers to map the way forward.

Earlier last month, the case had to be postponed because prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba had fallen ill.

Previously, some of the activists fell sick rendering them unfit to attend court.

The activists, who have been in custody for more than a year, have been denied bail on numerous occasions.
 
During bail application, Mtetwa had argued the amount of time that had passed with the suspects in prison (16 months) constituted special circumstances that should be considered to grant them bail.

But Bhunu threw out the bail request and said only after two years will the bail application be considered under special circumstances.

The state alleges police officer Mutedza was killed on May 29 last year in Glen View 3 suburb after a brawl with MDC activists.

The court heard the activists allegedly started shouting at the police officers and began throwing stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames which hit Mutedza and he fell unconscious.

Mutedza reportedly died on admission to hospital.

Currently, Nyazamba is still leading evidence from the 21 state witnesses lined up. - Bridget Mananavire

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