MDC activists murder trial resumes

HARARE - The trial of seven MDC activists accused of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza in Harare’s Glen View suburb in May 2011 has resumed at the High Court.

Tungamirai Madzokere, Last Maengahama, Yvonne Musarurwa, Paul Rukanda, Lazarus Maengehama, Edwin Muingiri and Phineas Nhatarikwa, were put to their defence, after High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu acquitted 21 others in September last year.

One of the suspects, Rebecca Mafikeni, died while in custody.

Madzokere was the first to give evidence.

He told the court that he did not know Mutedza and the person who killed him, further claiming that he was only arrested because he is an influential MDC member in the area.

According to his defence outline, Madzokere pleaded not guilty.

“The police did not investigate the matter, they merely targeted those involved in MDC politics in the area,” Madzokere said. “Those arrested are mainly those who hold party positions at district, provincial and national levels and some who are known and active members of the party.”

The suspects were all charged with murder or alternatively public violence as defined in Section 47 and 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Maengahama, Madzokere and Musarurwa were only granted bail in January this year, after 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.

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 shouted and began to throw 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 claims.

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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