CIO, cop charged for spying for Americans

HARARE - A Bindura magistrate has refused to dismiss charges against an  ex-Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative and a police officer accused in a damning leak of government secrets to an American think-tank.

The magistrate denied the defence motion for an out-of-custody remand during a closed pre-trial hearing at Bindura Magistrates Court last week in the bail hearing of ex-CIO operative Obediah Dodo and Collen Musorowegomo, a police assistant inspector in Bindura.

The ruling means the hearing will continue and the trial is scheduled to open on December 12.

The defence had filed a separate motion seeking dismissal of the serious charge of aiding the enemy. That offence carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

Dodo and Musorowegomo have been jointly charged with publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state as defined in Section 31(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

Dodo, who retired from the spy agency in 2008 to take up a job as lecturer at Bindura University, is accused of sending damning documents to the American Internal Journal of Contemporary Research.
The CIO operative and cop allegedly authored a document titled  Political intolerance, diversity and democracy: Youth violence in  Bindura urban, Zimbabwe.

The two deny the charge and say the paper was an academic research paper and had nothing to do with spying.

The document accuses state security institutions, including the CIO  and army, of playing a role in youth violence from 1999 to 2011.

The dossier, which has been posted on the Internet, names an operative as the “overall constituency base commander” based in Chipadze  township in Bindura.

He is alleged to have murdered a number of political activists named in the dossier.

The report also alleged that MDC activists have been purged and many had left Bindura fearing for their lives.

Reads the charge sheet: “Accused falsely stated that according to ZRP most of the criminal cases (assault, arson, rape and kidnapping) went  unreported as victims feared more reprisals and the fact that during the (2008 election) period, the police force had been disempowered technically as they could not handle any case to do with politics,” the state outline says.

“Accused state that innocent civilians were butchered, maimed and  killed by political activists supported by security agents.”

The cop and CIO operative will also be charged with slamming President Mugabe’s clemency orders, which they alleged was the root cause of the injustices in Zimbabwe.

“Precisely the clemency order handed down by the President in October 2000, which declared that only those involved in political violence that resulted in murder or rape could be prosecuted, worsened the situation in 2008,” the cop and CIO operative allegedly wrote in their paper.

The cop and spy have been in pre-trial confinement since they were  seized at their homes in a police raid two weeks ago.

Dodo and Musorowegomo were held incommunicado for a week before they surfaced at Bindura Magistrates Courts last Monday. The routine remand hearing was held in a closed court, where their ill-treatment at a  base where they were kept confined in a cell were presented before the courts.

They said they feared for their safety and raised other security concerns.

In dismissing an out of custody remand, the magistrate agreed with the state team which had argued that they two were flight risks “considering the gravity of the offence and accused’s status in the community, they are likely to abscond,” the court papers say.

The state also claimed the accused persons will likely interfere with witnesses.
The magistrate concurred and remanded them both in custody pending the commencement of their trial on December 12.

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