Members of a Gokwe family whose son, Moses Chokuda, was allegedly killed by the son of Jason Machaya who is the current Midlands Governor in March 2009 grumbled that the hearing of the case was long over-due. They said it was unfair that another murder case which was only committed last year had been heard instead.
Chokuda’s body has been lying in the mortuary for the past four years, with the family insisting that the case should be finalised first before burial. The family are demanding justice, saying the governor’s son was being protected because of his father’s influential political position.
Tavengwa Chokuda, a brother to the deceased, said the family was in lot of pain. Other family members could be seen crying uncontrollably as journalists interviewed the family.
“It’s not easy to have a son in a mortuary for this long…we want our son to rest in peace,” said Tavengwa as he wiped tears with a white handkerchief.
The Chokuda family and other members of the public who had come to hear the case were ordered out of the court premises by armed prison Officers.
However one of the High Court prosecutors who spoke to Radio VOP, on condition of anonymity, said for security reasons they could not give out the schedule of the cases to be heard in the court.
“What I can confirm is that the case is on the list of the cases that will be heard during the two week circuit,” he said.
He said cases were heard when all the required witnesses and papers are made available. He said it was for security reasons that they did not disclose dates when cases will be heard.
The High court is expected to hear nine murder cases on its current circuit were Justice Nicholas Mathonsi is sitting with Lex Dhlula and Wellington Matemba as assessors.
The court clerk announced that it will provide state witnesses with food and accommodation. However some witnesses told Radio VOP that they preferred travel a day before they testified because they were bread winners. They complained that forcing witnesses to stay at one place until cases are heard will in future result in witnesses refusing to testify.
Moses Chokuda was killed on 22 March 2009 and it is alleged Farai Machaya is one of the six suspected murderers. The case which has been before the lower courts has been postponed many times with the Chokuda family believing it is political influence. The Governor’s son and the other suspects who were out on bail were indicted a few days ago and are now in custody.
The Chokuda family has vowed that unless justice prevails they shall not bury their son.