Chegutu, November 10, 2016 – THE trial of four opposition political party supporters accused of blocking roads during an anti-government protest staged in the town two months ago, failed to commence on Tuesday as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was inadequately prepared.
The four, namely Patrick Tembo (60), Tafadzwa Ziyamba (28), Gift Konjana (46) and Isaac Stani Shumba (43), had been summoned early September for trial on Tuesday.
This is after they were arrested by police August 31 and charged with contravening Section 38 (c) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for allegedly obstructing or endangering free movement of persons or traffic.
Tembo is an MDC-T party councilor for ward 12 Chegutu Urban while Ziyamba is a self-employed motor-vehicle mechanic.
Konjana is an unemployed MDC-T party chairperson for Chegutu West constituency while Shumba is also unemployed and is the Zimbabwe People First political party chairperson for Chegutu.
The four were represented by Marufu Mandevere of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
But the trial of the quartet could not commence, as the NPA was not ready to commence trial.
Meanwhile, in Harare, three residents Munyaradzi Makwanya, Norman Nyakundengwa and Albert Chiteya were on Tuesday released from police custody after the NPA conceded defects on charges of committing robbery the trio was facing.
The three Highfield high density suburb residents had been charged with contravening as Section 126 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Makwanya, Nyakundengwa and Chiteya, who were represented by Gift Mtisi of ZLHR, were arrested on Sunday and initially faced charges of theft.
They were being accused of stealing $129 from one Blessing Kanyere, a fellow resident from Highfield and assault.
However, police later altered the charges to robbery.
But prosecutors from the NPA declined to prosecute the trio and set them free after vetting the ZRP docket which they indicated had some glaring deficiencies including that the complainant, Kanyere’s narration and circumstances on which Makwanya, Nyakundengwa and Chiteya were arrested upon were unrelated.
Kanyere also filed an affidavit insisting that the NPA should withdraw the robbery charges against the trio.