Beatrice Mtetwa trial kicks off

HARARE - Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has denied allegations of obstructing the course of justice as her trial opened yesterday at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

Mtetwa, through her lawyer Harrison Nkomo told magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa that the prosecution’s charge sheet and State outline do not disclose an offence.

She also denied having uttered any statements being attributed to her since she is a non-shona speaker.

“She will point out that the utterances were maliciously dreamt up by the officers buoyed by vitriolic statements in the State-controlled media and in order to bolster a non-existent State case against her, which explains why the alleged utterances did not form part of the State case at the remand stage,” reads part of her defence outline.

The pint-sized lawyer told the court that the allegations are part of the prosecution’s many attempts to pin something on her.

Nkomo said the malicious nature of the prosecution was shown by the police’s actions when they visited the High Court to look for her professional documents.

He further contends that the malice went as far as a visit by CIO operatives at her former husband’s house, masquerading as journalists, while trying to convince him to dish out any ‘‘dirt’’ on her.

Tawanda Zvekare from the Attorney General’s office, called in their first witness chief inspector Luxon Mukazhi who corroborated what the State outline had pointed out.

Mukazhi said Mtetwa’s commotion caused an unnecessary scene that pulled crowds and a commuter omnibus that was passing-by.

Mtetwa was arrested in March after she allegedly told police officers to stop rummaging through Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s official, Thabani Mpofu’s house.

The State alleges that she was acting in a violent and disorderly manner saying “stop whatever you are doing, it is unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic”.

Mtetwa is alleged to have threatened to send pictures and video footage she had taken with her mobile phone to the international community. - Helen Kadirire

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