Court postpones Tsvangirai staffers trial

HARARE - The multiple charge case against research officials in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office has been postponed to June 3 for trial.

Defence counsel for the quartet, Alec Muchadehama, had applied that the State furnish them with the confiscated dockets if they were to be used in the trial, but the request was dismissed.

State prosecutor Michael Reza had objected to the application saying the dockets were with the police who are still investigating the matter.

“We do not have the documents as the police are saying they are still carrying out their investigations. We cannot compel them to give us the documents if they are still being used,” Reza said.

Magistrate Tendai Mahwe said unless the documents were necessary and would be used by the State during the trial, there was no need for the defence to be in possession of the papers.

Thabani Mpofu together with Felix Matsinde, Warship Dumba and Mehluli Moyo are alleged to have been found in possession of dockets that could have been used to discredit the judicial system.

Allegations against Mpofu and his colleagues arose on March 17 when detectives received information that they were in possession of dockets they were privately compiling to discredit the judicial system.

It is alleged the dockets contained information that the police and the Attorney General (AG) had failed or refused to investigate cases of corruption involving prominent government officials among them AG Johannes Tomana and police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri.

A team of detectives went to Mpofu’s residence and found some of the documents, including a laptop and a pistol.

It is alleged the suspects indicated that they were legal advisors to the PM and researching on corruption and criminal abuse of office and the appointment of Chihuri.

Investigations by the police further revealed that the accused are being bankrolled by Institute of Democratic Alliance of Zimbabwe, the court heard. - Helen Kadirire

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