Madiro, Mabika trial postponed

MUTARE - Provincial magistrate Lucy Anne Mungwari has postponed the trial of two senior Zanu PF Manicaland members, former chairperson Mike Madiro and current acting chair Dorothy Mabika, who both face nine years in jail for allegedly stealing beasts meant for President Robert Mugabe’s birthday party.

Mungwari postponed the case to May 20 following an agreement between the State and the defence team on the deferment.

Madiro and Mabika’s lawyer Tinofara Hove told journalists that the postponement was reached by consensus but could not give reasons.

Jane Rose Matsikidze, appearing for the State said; “There are a number of reasons which came from the defence, the court and the State, which led to this postponement.”

She refused to shed more light on the causes of the move.

Until yesterday’s adjournment, seven witnesses had testified, among them Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF national youth boss Absalom Sikhosana as well as businessman and Zanu PF member Supa Mandiwanzira since Monday when the trial kicked off.

Four other people, who include Zanu PF Manicaland provincial secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera, Zanu PF provincial secretary for transport and welfare David Momberume and two police officers, are still to take to the witness stand.

Of the seven witnesses who have appeared in court so far, only one person exonerated Madiro and Mabika from stock theft charges which attract a minimum jail sentence of nine years.

The duo’s lawyer claims the prosecution of his clients is “political persecution” by powerful Zanu PF factional leaders.

Hove is resolute that his clients’ trial has nothing to do with Mugabe’s stolen cattle.

Yesterday, two witnesses Lucy Golowa, an employee at the Zanu PF provincial party offices in Mutare testified against both Mabika and Madiro.

Golowa, a typist at the former ruling party offices, disclosed that Mabika directed her to alter minutes to cover her tracks on the missing beasts.

“What was done to the minutes was unprocedural,” said Golowa, adding she had a good working relationship with both Madiro and Mabika and therefore would not unnecessarily incriminate them.

Gift Gombakomba, a Zanu PF member and former volunteer data capture at the Zanu PF party offices said he had witnessed the police visit their offices to check on computers which had been tampered with when minutes were altered.

He said he had seen Mabika at one of the computers belonging to their Zanu PF acting provincial administrator Angawashe Nelia Maenda. - Sydney Saize

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