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Elizabeth Tsvangirai attends MDC activists’ trial

By Bridget Mananavire

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s new bride Elizabeth yesterday brought the High Court to a standstill after appearing in her first political assignment at the trial of 29 MDC activists accused of murdering a police inspector last year.

FIRST DAY IN OFFICE: The stunning Elizabeth Macheka arrives at the High Court yesterday.
FIRST DAY IN OFFICE: The stunning Elizabeth Macheka arrives at the High Court yesterday.

Just from a weekend wedding, Elizabeth went to the court along with other MDC ministers in solidarity with the MDC activists who have been languishing in prison for the past 16 months. Her presence lifted the spirits of the prisoners as they welcomed her in chant.

“Mother, mother, mother, we support you and we love you, we will always love you,” said the party activists who were overwhelmed by their new “mother”.

Yesterday Elizabeth who arrived in her husband’s official vehicle all but confirmed that she is the premier’s chosen one much to the delight of Solomon Madzore and 28 other activists who are cut from public events.

Back to the courts, the defence team passionately pleaded with Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to grant bail to the 29 activists. While Bhunu has on several occasions denied the MDC activists bail, the defence is still hopeful it shall be granted.

During the court session police were accused of not doing thorough investigations in the murder of constable, Petros Mutedza, before arresting the MDC activists. Father of the deceased, Solomon Mutedza, who claimed he is Zanu PF supporter, said he did not believe the MDC activists were guilty of the murder.

“Until the police carry out thorough investigations, then I will believe they (MDC supporters) are the ones who killed my son, as for now I do not believe these people are the ones who did it.”

Solomon, 76, said his opinion was supported by the inconsistency of the injuries he noted on his son’s body and what the family had been briefed and the way the police had treated the family members prior to his burial and during the burial ritual.

“His private parts and the incision on his cheek seemed to have been cut by a sharp object. Furthermore, the police treated us as if we did not know anything and had no right to ask them what had happened,” he said.

Solomon denied the suggestion that had been made by prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba that his other son Tichaona might have been the one who cut off his brother’s manhood. “Why would he do it, and how would he have had time to cut it off?” Solomon questioned.

Tichaona had earlier told Bhunu, the police had acted like the body of his brother belonged to them as they had not given the family enough access to it.

Defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said because of the exceptional circumstances surrounding the case whereby the aggrieved believed the accused should be released, bail consideration should be made. She also said circumstances surrounding their arrest qualified them for bail.

“It is common knowledge that none of the accused were arrested at the scene on the day in question (May 29, 2011). Witnesses confirmed that no identification parade that uphold with regulations under the police act was held in respect of all the accused persons to be identified by civilian witnesses that were at the shopping centre,” Mtetwa said.

The matter was postponed to today. Daily News