Police struggle to prove case

BULAWAYO - Lawyers representing four youths who were arrested for allegedly shouting “Mugabe must go” during the recent stay-away have applied for discharge after the witnesses failed to prove the case.

The accused, Alfred Dzirutwe, Mthokozisi Ncube, Robson Tera and Thembelihle Sibanda yesterday appeared before magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa facing criminal nuisance charges.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) legal representatives, Lison Ncube and Tamuka Muganyi, gave three police officers, who are witnesses in the case, a hard time in proving the case.

During cross-examination, the officers — an assistant inspector Admire Dona, Edmore Zingwe and Albina Tendai Mukashuri — were seemingly confused as they failed to substantiate the charges against the four.

Dona, the first State witness, told the court that he and other police details had arrested the four in the city centre after they found them allegedly writing placards inscribed “Mugabe must go”.

He said the four were part of a group of six that was reportedly also shouting “Mugabe must go” but two others escaped, and they had arrested them for staging an illegal demonstration.

Asked by Ncube whether he was aware that the Constitution under section 67 (1b) allowed people to demonstrate, Dona said he was not aware.

After being further quizzed which Mugabe the accused were referring to, Dona said he did not know.

When asked how the alleged shouting by the accused persons amounted to criminal nuisance, Dona said the shouting was disturbing the business community.

The second witness, Zingwe, said they were only four protesters whom the police arrested. He later contradicted himself and Dona when he said the police had found five protesters at the scene with one escaping.

Asked about the contradiction in the number of protesters whom they had found at the scene, Zingwe left the court in stitches when he stated that the two cops might have seen different figures.

Asked if he and his colleagues had any reasonable suspicion to arrest the accused persons, Zingwe surprisingly said they did not have any.

He also described criminal nuisance as shouting at the top of one’s voice and obstructing the public.

Quizzed on how the public was obstructed by the shouting, Zingwe said the public stopped and began listening to the shouting.

Zingwe also contradicted Dona who had earlier on stated that the protesters stopped shouting “Mugabe must go” at the intersection of Leopold Takawira Avenue and Fife Street when he said the protesters had continued to shout all the way to the Central Police Station.

Muchemwa is expected to make a ruling on the discharge application on July 29.

Comments (10)

uwone ito tupurisa itu ndito tusingahore zvachose , tinohora nyoka zvino unoshaya kuti tinofireyiko ?

medion kasvatutsa - 26 July 2016

Guys Chionai manje ma Form 4 aye akunyadzisa mu court. Chavanogona kungorova vanhu chete without reason shame on u zim cops.

tired - 26 July 2016

Guys Chionai manje ma Form 4 aye akunyadzisa mu court. Chavanogona kungorova vanhu chete without reason shame on u zim cops.

tired - 26 July 2016

Since when did the statement :- "Mugabe must go" become and insult? strange things are happening in this country. what are they charging them with? I wonder??? Which Mugabe must go? Leo Mugabe, Sabina?? Which Mugabe were they referring to? Its funny. How does the prosecution prove that the "Mugabe" they referred to is President Mugabe????How??? Anyhow, to say someone must go, on its own is not an offence, period. Infact, go where??? go to the toilet, go to watch Dynamos and Highlanders,go to Zvimba or anywhere else it does not matter,Please its not an offence. Zvinotonyadzisa izvi/ Kuyayangisa lokhu. You feel so ashamed, if not sorry for yourself for being Zimbabwean when things are like this.Cry the beloved country.

mosquito - 26 July 2016

All this nuisance starts with law-makers who endorse and rubber stamp laws that are in violation of sections of constitution, using the majority power in parliament. Now the enforcers are being roasted in public gallery. There has to be a certain qualification for a person to be in parliament apart from the votes by every tom and jake. It is this nonsense law that is now a nuisance to the courts. To some extant smith regime had a point in controlling the quality that come to parliament.

X-MAN IV - 26 July 2016

Since when did saying "Mugabe must go" become a crime? Further, maybe they meant Leo Mugabe or the other reporter Mugabe. How can you prove they meant the president?

XG - 27 July 2016

ko kunyepa here ,does it constitute a crime to say Mugabe must go.Maybe they were saying he must go kwaZvimba his rural home pane chakaipa here kuti munhu aende kumusha kwake.The other problem is police officers are now being recruited from the rurals areas where most of these morons are zanunised and they promise allegiance to zanu pf before joining ZRP.They are so unsophisticated,they don't think for themselves and they are very ignorant of the law.Such is the sorry situation of our beloved country

Janana wa Bikaz - 27 July 2016

ko kunyepa here ,does it constitute a crime to say Mugabe must go.Maybe they were saying he must go kwaZvimba his rural home pane chakaipa here kuti munhu aende kumusha kwake.The other problem is police officers are now being recruited from the rurals areas where most of these morons are zanunised and they promise allegiance to zanu pf before joining ZRP.They are so unsophisticated,they don't think for themselves and they are very ignorant of the law.Such is the sorry situation of our beloved country

Janana wa Bikaz - 27 July 2016

gentlemen,this job is hard you are told to witness in a matter you see is worthless the situation is useless.the situation is worse

MUJIBA - 27 July 2016

Ndizvo zvinoita maSupport Unit izvozvo. Mutemo hauverengwe but they know how to beat up protesters. Most of them stay in Camps (95%) so they behave like animals when they see people. Real Policemen do not behave that way.

Wezhira wezhara - 27 July 2016

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