Glen View murder trial deferred

HARARE - The trial of seven MDC activists, which was to resume yesterday, has been deferred because the presiding judge Chinembiri Bhunu is occupied with other business.

The seven were put to their defence after Bhunu freed 21 others at the close of the State’s case, following an application for discharge by their lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa in September last year, while one of the suspects Rebecca Mafikeni died in custody.

All the 29 activists were accused of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza in Harare’s Glen View suburb in 2011.

They were alternatively charged with public violence as defined in Sections 47 and 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Three of the suspects, Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madzokere and Yvonne Musarurwa were only granted bail last month after spending nearly two years in remand prison.

The trio had been in custody since March 2012, after they were indicted for trial at the High Court.
They were put to their defence together with Lazarus Maengehama, Paul Rukanda, Edwin Muingiri and Phineas Nhatarikwa, who were out of custody.

All the suspects deny the charges.

The State alleges that the group murdered Mutedza after he went to Glen View 3 as part of a team that was assigned to disperse a group of MDC supporters who were barbecuing meat and drinking alcohol.

The residents allegedly started shouting and began throwing stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at the police.

According to court papers, the police were out-numbered by the group and Mutedza rushed to a Nissan Hardbody which he mistakenly identified as a police vehicle.

He was hit by a brick on the left side of his head and fell down, the state said.

The group allegedly kicked him until he became unconscious. He was rushed to Harare Central Hospital where he died upon arrival.

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