By Tererai Karimakwenda
The trial of 29 MDC-T members, facing charges of murdering a policeman in Glen View last year, continued Monday at the High Court in Harare, but was in session for only one hour in the morning and the judge was not available in the afternoon.
Defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told SW Radio Africa that the trial had a late start because the prosecutor was late. She said all testimonies would have been heard by now and the trial would be over if the court was utilizing the entire day.
“We said in the beginning that we should be getting a judge who will dedicate his entire time to this case because these are persons in custody. And we were assured that the case would be given priority. So it’s frustrating that this is not happening,” Mtetwa said.
Glen View policeman Petros Mutedza was killed by unknown assailants at a local pub. The state claims he was attacked by MDC-T members who held an illegal meeting there, charges the party has denied. Defense lawyers have insisted many of the accused were not at the pub the night Mutedza was killed.
The MDC-T members have been denied bail on several occasions as flight risks. Some have been in jail for over a year, with their party insisting the whole affair is part of a ZANU PF strategy to extend their time in jail and destabilize MDC-T structures.
At a fresh bail hearing last Tuesday, launched after new evidence was introduced recently, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu at the High Court reserved judgement and did not indicate when a decision would be made.
It had been hoped the jailed activists would finally be granted bail, after the father and brother of the slain cop appealed to the court to release them, saying they had nothing to do with the murder. Both Solomon Mutedza and his son Tichaona implicated ZANU PF elements in a plot to kill Petros.
Solomon Mutedza testified that he actually supports ZANU PF, while his son Tichaona is the MDC-T chairperson of ward 2 in Mt Darwin. SW Radio Africa
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