Violence At Murder Trial

The violence broke out as the 29 party activists were in court where they were all denying charges of murdering police Inspector Petros Mutedza in May last year.

Agitated MDC-T demonstrators were demanding the release of Madzore and other party activists who have now spent a full year languishing in remand prison.

“Free Solomon Madzore and others now. Police brutality and the raping of the justice system should stop now” read some of the fliers which were left strewn outside the court building.

Although it was not immediately clear if there were any arrests, eye witnesses said a police officer was injured during the clashes.

Meanwhile, the accused, in their defence outlines read in court during trial, claim they did not take part in the incident that led to the death of Mutedza.

The accused further claimed in their defence outlines that police’s determination to nail MDC-T activists residing in Harare’s Glen View suburb, where the murder occurred, allowed the real culprits to go scot free.

“Due to the state’s over-dedication to pinning the murder on the so-called MDC-T youths, a chance is being lost to carry out proper investigations. The police did not investigate the matter. They merely targeted those who hold positions in the MDC. The accused further claim the charges brought against them were “confusing, meaningless and repetitive”.

The 29 are represented by six human rights lawyers led by Beatrice Mtetwa while Edmore Nyazamba is appearing for the state.

Twenty state witnesses, 15 of them serving police officers, the majority of whom admit in their statements they were not at the scene of the murder at the time, are expected to give evidence.

Five of the witnesses involve a pathologist and a medical doctor while three are civilians, among them Stephanie Manjoro, brother to one of the accused, Cynthia Manjoro.

The accused have alleged that they have been tortured by police to force them to confess.