MDC-T youth leaders remanded in custody over cop’s murder

Murdered police officer, Petros Mutedza

By Tererai Karimakwenda
12 October 2012

Two more youth leaders from the MDC-T’s Glen View structures have been jailed in the case of murdered police officer, Petros Mutedza.

Jackson Mabota and Tarisai Kusotera, both from Glen View South constituency, were arrested Tuesday at their homes. The Youth Assembly spokesperson, Clifford Hlatywayo, told SW Radio Africa that Mabota and Kusotera appeared in court Thursday and were remanded in custody till October 26th.

“They were charged with murder and face an alternative charge of public violence. They will be at Harare Central Remand Prison. These are key people who drive our programmes in Glen View. ZANU PF is trying to destroy our structures at district level,” Hlatywayo explained.

A total of 29 other MDC-T officials and supporters are already on trial for the cop’s murder, including the Chairman of the National Youth Council, Solomon Madzore.

Hlatywayo also named several councillors and MDC-T National Council members among the detainees. He said human rights activists suspected of being MDC-T supporters were also targeted. Cynthia Manjoro from Zimrights is one of them.

On Wednesday at the High Court, Justice Bhunu denied bail for the activists again, citing irregularities. He dismissed testimonies given by the late cop’s father and brother during a bail hearing last month, which implicated ZANU PF elements in the murder.

Bhunu accused the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights of coaching Mutedza’s brother Solomon. The judge instructed the defense lawyers to seek bail through the Supreme Court instead. The trial resumes nextTuesday.

Officer Petros Mutedza was killed at a Glen View pub in May, 2011. The police claim he was killed by MDC-T members who had gathered there for a meeting. They rounded up MDC-T members only in the Glen View area, including many who had clear evidence that they were not at the scene when Mutedza died.

Hlatywayo said that it is strange for a total of 31 people to be charged with the murder of one person. He added that this shows the whole affair is political and not a criminal case.

Some of the accused members have been in jail for over a year, with the courts repeatedly denying them bail as flight risks.

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