Harare, September 16, 2013 – 28 MDC-T activists charged for murdering a policeman will know of their fate on Tuesday when High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu hands down his ruling on an application for discharge filed by their lawyers.
Justice Bhunu will deliver his ruling on the matter on Tuesday morning after he reserved judgment indefinitely on the application for discharge at the close of the State’s case in June.
This was after he heard oral submissions from both the State and the defence counsel led by human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.
In their application for discharge, the MDC-T supporters’ lawyers argued that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against their clients and hence they should be set free.
The MDC-T supporters, who include Rebecca Mafikeni, who passed away, last month were arrested in 2011 and charged with contravening Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for allegedly murdering Inspector Petros Mutedza at a bar in Harare’s Glen View suburb. Alternatively, the residents were also charged with committing public violence in contravention of Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
During the high profile trial, prosecutors charged that the political activists chanted their party slogans, denounced the police and threw stones, empty beer bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at six uniformed police officers resulting in the death of Inspector Mutedza, a charge which they all deny.
The MDC-T party has criticised the police for fixing their supporters by conducting a dragnet arrest aimed at weakening its activities.