Mtetwa in 'Mugabe dogs' charge

HARARE - The Attorney General’s Office has come up with new allegations against prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, in a bid to bolster its case against the feisty legal practitioner.

State prosecutors last Friday served the human rights lawyer’s attorneys with the allegations together with State papers to prepare for her trial which commences on May 27,  2013 and is expected to last until May 31, 2013 at Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

A perusal of the State papers show that prosecutors have now supplemented the State papers by adding new allegations that were previously not included in the original State papers used during Mtetwa’s initial remand proceedings last month.

The State has now “embellished” its papers with new allegations, which now read: “Stop whatever you are doing, it’s unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic. You confused cockroaches” as well as “Murimbwa dzaMugabe” which prosecutors translated to mean “You are Mugabe’s dogs”.

In the original State papers, Mtetwa was accused of telling police officers that: “Stop whatever you are doing, it’s unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic”.

But lawyers yesterday said: “Oddly, the statement above was not contained in the original court papers but was first brought to the public domain through a malicious opinion article written in the State-run Sunday Mail by Tsholotsho North Constituency legislator and Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo.”

Prosecutors also claimed that Mtetwa conducted herself indecently when she threatened to relieve herself in a public place.

On Monday, Tawanda Zvekare, the acting director of public prosecutions in the AG’s Office took over the lead prosecuting role and he will be assisted by Michael Mugabe, the chief law officer as trial prosecutors.

The State has lined up nine witnesses to testify against Mtetwa and these include chief superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, detective assistant inspector Wilfred Chibage, detective constable Ngatirwe Mamiza, detective sergeant Taizivei Tembo, assistant inspector Thabani Nkomo, Chido Chawanikwa, a police officer, Stembiwe Vera, a caretaker at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and development office, Brian Mutusva, a computer technician in the PM’s office and a driver, Zororai Mudariki.

Mtetwa was arrested on March 17, 2013 and charged with contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

At court, dozens of truncheon-wielding police officers loitered inside the court house while others took positions outside the court building.

Meanwhile, the trial of four of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s aides will commence on May 13, 2013 and is expected to run until May 17, 2013.

Tsvangirai’s aides Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde, former councillor Warship Dumba and Mehluli Tshuma were arrested on Sunday 17 March 2013 and charged with contravening Section 4 of Official Secrets Act for allegedly receiving or communicating secret information, Section 179 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) for alleged impersonation and Section 40 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for possession of articles for criminal use.

Mpofu is also facing charges of contravening Section 4 (1) of the Firearms Act for allegedly failing to renew a firearm certificate and Section 28 (2) of the Firearms Act for allegedly keeping a firearm in a non-secure place.

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