MDC officials' application dismissed

HARARE - Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe has dismissed an application for refusal of further remand by MDC officials charged with impersonating police officers, contravening the Official Secrets Act (Osa) and possessing articles for criminal use.

Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde, Warship Dumba and Mehluli Moyo had sought freedom, citing delays in the commencement of the trial.

But Mahwe ruled that the delay in the commencement of the trial cannot be attributed to the State. Mahwe said trial could not in fact proceed due to numerous applications that were filed by the MDC officials.

He said the State was ready to proceed with the matter as early as March last year.

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

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

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

The officials claimed that they were ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s legal advisors and researching on corruption and criminal abuse of office and the appointment of Chihuri.

Investigations by the police further revealed that the accused were being bankrolled by the Institute of Democratic Alliance of Zimbabwe, the court heard.

The matter was postponed to July 31.

 

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