State ordered to act on war vets issue

HARARE - Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande yesterday ordered the State to present a report on constitutional issues raised by war veterans’ leaders facing charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe by September 30.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, political commissar Francis Nhando, deputy chairperson Headman Moyo and Hoyini Samuel Bhila are accused of contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law on charges of undermining authority of or insulting the president.

They appeared before Makwande represented by Beatrice Mtetwa, Andrew Makoni and Harrison Nkomo.

Makwande condemned the State’s sluggish approach to conducting investigations on the alleged human rights violations but gave them another chance “to put their house in order”.

“When a court passes an order it ought to be complied with. It is now more than one month when the order directing State to investigate complaints raised by the defence was issued,” Makwande said.

“At this stage, it would not be fair to proceed before that report is compiled and State is hereby given another chance.”

During the initial hearing for Mahiya on August 3, Nkomo complained that his client had been verbally abused, detained in a cell unfit for human habitation and that police had barricaded court rooms and deprived them access.

Nkomo raised concern about why the State had been silent on when they would submit the report and demanded to see one or have Mahiya removed from remand.

Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema could not give a satisfactory account on why the report has not been tendered to court.

Kasema said he had instructed Makedenge to have the investigations done and suspected that he had not compiled one since he had disturbances at his offices.

Mtetwa then blasted the officer commanding Harare province Newbet Saunyama and former CID Law and Order boss Crispen Makedenge for ‘’taking the court as their playground by choosing to delay submitting the reports”.

“... I pray that you find the officer commanding Harare province with contempt of court. They must learn that court processes should be respected across board,” Mtetwa said.

Kasema then elected to have a senior assistant inspector at Law and Order Thulani Ncube settle the dispute by calling him to the witness but Mtetwa objected.

“This court is not going to get into an inquiry. The same witness State intends to call the stand is accused of perpetrating verbal abuse on the accused person,” added Mtetwa.

“We can’t have an enquiry on whether or not he has investigated himself or not. A report must be produced.”

Allegations against Mahiya arose between April 7 and July 21, this year, when he allegedly connived with Matemadanda, Nhando, Bhila, Moyo and ZNLWVA members who are still at large and authored a document that undermined Mugabe’s office.

According to court papers, the documents were captioned, War Veterans Communiqué on the State of Zimbabwe’s Economy, the Zanu PF Party Leadership and the Way Forward for the People of Zimbabwe.

The State alleged that information contained in the document is defamatory.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.