By Lance Guma
The case in which 29 MDC-T activists are being accused of killing a policeman, took a second dramatic twist on Tuesday when the father of the murdered cop joined his brother in accusing Zanu PF and state security agents of killing him.
MDC-T Youth Assembly Chairman Solomon Madzore and 28 fellow activists are facing what his party believe are ‘trumped up’ charges of killing Inspector Petros Mutedza. The group has had countless applications for bail turned down and some of them have been in custody since their arrest 16 months ago.
During cross examination in the bail application for the 29 activists, the slain Inspector Mutedza’s father, Solomon Mutedza mentioned that the people who arrested the MDC-T members were aware of who had murdered his son and they had given him false information concerning his son’s death.
Mutedza said he was told his son was struck with a stone on the left side of the head, fell from the truck he was trying to board while it was moving and died on the spot. However, upon inspection, his body showed that his cheek had been pierced, tongue was missing, had a hole in the head and private parts missing.
Mutedza who is himself a Zanu PF member said the talk during the funeral of his son made him believe that Zanu PF and not the arrested MDC-T members had murdered his son. Mutedza said the 29 should be granted bail, as they were not the ones who killed his son and proper investigations should be conducted.
Last week Tichaona Mutedza, a brother to the deceased, also blew big holes into the prosecution case when he also said that his brother’s body had no genitals and tongue and that he believed the 29 suspects who have been in custody since last year in May are innocent.
During cross-examination in the bail application of the 29, Tichaona Mutedza insisted that his brother was killed by members of the CIO and Zanu PF. Tichaona said Inspector Mutedza’s genitals and tongue were missing and challenged the State to exhume the corpse to verify his claims.
Tichaona proceeded to implicate a Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chairperson in Mt Darwin called Mr Chirwanemoto who hinted at the killing of his brother during a political gathering on the 6th of August. Mutedza said on the 18th of April last year his late brother confirmed the plot against him.
Tichaona implicated CIO operatives identified as Scott and Victor Jaravaza as the ones who were initially set to kill his brother and in return get a tractor and a vehicle respectively. Mutedza said Zanu PF wanted to use his brother’s death as a campaign tool against MDC-T.
“They (Zanu-PF) used the death of my brother to gain political support. They are de-campaigning MDC by portraying them as a violent party. They are also detaining the 29 MDC activists for no reason,” said Mutedza.
Stung by the claims, the prosecution quickly rushed to accuse Tichaona Mutedza of grandstanding to gain political mileage. Law officer Edmore Nyazamba described Mutedza, as a self-confessed MDC-T activist and attention seeker who was not concerned by the death of his brother.
It was not clear on Tuesday how the prosecution would respond to the testimony of the father and if they would also brand him an MDC-T activist. The defence team say the MDC-T members are applying for bail on changed circumstances. The state is expected to make its own submissions Wednesday.
The case has drawn comparisons to the one in Shamva, this year in March, where seven policemen accused of murdering a mine worker were granted $50 bail after one month in detention.