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Judge ‘feigns’ sickness to delay MDC-T 29 trial

By Lance Guma

The South African branch of the MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has blasted Justice Chinembiri Bhunu for his ‘choreographed sickness’ that again led to a postponement of the trial of 29 party activists.

High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu (left) and assessor Mr Patrick Musengezi during the inspection in loco at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre in Harare a few months ago.
High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu (left) and assessor Mr Patrick Musengezi during the inspection in loco at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre in Harare a few months ago.

On Monday the trial of the activists, facing what their party believe are trumped up charges of killing a policeman, failed to kick off again and postponed to Wednesday after the trial judge failed to come to court claiming he was unwell.

The trial has been postponed for nearly two weeks now after prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba sought a one week leave also claiming that he was ill. The trial has been adjourned on many occasions for a variety of dubious reasons.

“The Court is not only unreasonably denying the 29 activists bail; but further delaying the trial. The case was postponed two weeks ago to Monday the 29th because the Prosecutor in the case, Mr Nyazamba, said he was sick.

“Instead of proceeding with the trial on Monday the 29th, the trail Justice Bhunu also fell sick and postponed the trial to Wednesday the 31st of October.

“Whereas we wish all the sick people a speedy recovery; we are concerned about this form of choreographed sickness that plays itself in episodes giving turns to each other,” the MDC-T branch in South Africa wrote in statement.

“The Prosecutor and the trial judge are taking turns to get sick yet the activists are languishing in the filthy cells of Chikurubi and being denied bail for no justifiable reason.”

The MDC-T SA said “the latest postponement interestingly came at a time when the prosecution was cornered in the examination of the state witnesses against Youth Assembly President Solomon Madzore.”

“In examination, the police officer admitted that the alibi of President Solomon Madzore had been corroborated by the Doctor and therefore authentic, paving way to his release. It is clear at this stage that any further step in the trial should see the release of President Madzore.

“The postponements and delays are simple ways of buying time and re-strategizing on new methods of continuing to hold President Madzore in Prison. We continue to demand the release of the innocent activists,” the MDC-T SA said.

Tichaona Mutedza, a brother to the deceased cop, last month blew big holes into the prosecution case when he 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.

Solomon Mutedza the father of the murdered cop also joined his brother in accusing Zanu PF and state security agents of killing his son. During cross examination in the bail application for the 29 activists Solomon Mutedza exonerated those in custody and said the police knew the real killers.

Strangely Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is dragging his feet over granting the accused bail, even though they were previously released and tasted freedom for a few weeks in which they did not abscond. There are already allegations that Justice Bhunu is taking political instructions from Zanu PF over the matter.

To contact this journalist e-mail [email protected] or follow him on twitter @LanceGuma