…as court acquits him on charge of blocking traffic
MASVINGO – Masvingo magistrate Patience Madondo today, September 09, acquitted MDC Alliance national organising secretary Godfrey Kurauone on a charge of obstructing free movement of traffic.
The magistrate declared Kurauone, who languished in remand prison for 42 days, not guilty after indicating that the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was indeed Kurauone whom they claimed to have seen blocking roads and burning tyres in Mashava on July 31.
She said evidence of the two State witnesses was on some instances inconsistent, with one of them failing to assert categorically the colour of the jacket that he claimed he saw Kurauone wearing on the alleged crime scene.
She said the State’s submissions were further complicated by the fact it had neglected to check at Kurauone’s house in Masvingo the moment they supposedly saw him in Mashava to help dispel possibilities of mistaken identities.
Before his acquittal, Kurauone had been denied bail first by the same court and then by the High Court on August 13.
When Kurauone was arrested, he was out on bail on charges of undermining the authority of the President and the case is still pending before the court.
In the evening of July 31, Kurauone, in the company of his lawyer Martin Mureri, reported to the Law and Order Section of Masvingo Central Police Station as part of his bail conditions and that is when he was detained.
“We had always known that our client was innocent and was facing fabricated charges as a way of fixing him for political reasons. The State had no case and they knew it form the very beginning,” said Mureri, who worked with instructions from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Kurauone, who is also councillor for Masvingo Urban Ward 4, will go back to court on September 24 for continuation of his trial on undermining the authority of the President.