Lawyers seek postponement of ministers trial

The lawyers from Mutamangira and Associates made the request in a letter written to the abductees’ lawyer Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners.

“We regret to advise that Mr Mutamangira, the legal practitioner who is engaged in this matter will be unavailable on that date. We also propose that the various matters be clustered in order to facilitate their expeditious settlement,” read part of the letter, which was signed by T Moyo of Mutamangira and Associates.

Mutamangira is understood to be in Brazil on an unspecified visit.

The four ministers together with the police chiefs are scheduled to stand trial on Monday in a case in which Mapfumo Garutsa, a victim of abduction is claiming US$190 000 in damages suffered from torture.

The four ministers include co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, former co-Home Affaisr Minister Giles Mutsekwa, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa, and former State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa.

He is suing police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Paradzai Zimondi, the Commissioner of Prisons, Happyton Bonyongwe, the head of the country’s spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The other seven top police officers include Senior Assistant Commissioner Nyathi, Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge, Detective Chief Inspector Mpofu, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi, Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi, Superintendent Joel Shasha Tenderere and Superintendent Regis Takaitei.

Out of the $190 000 Garutsa is claiming $50 000 as damages for the abduction, enforced disappearance and unlawful detention incommunicado. $50 000 is for damages for unlawful assault and torture, $40 000 for unlawful detention and $50 000 for malicious prosecution.

Justice George Chiweshe who was recently appointed Judge President will preside over the trial of the four ministers when it commences on Monday.