By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
13 January 2014
The trial of 28 people arrested along with 12 others on New Year’s Eve following a raid at the Kenedene Flats in Harare, was postponed Monday after the police failed to turn up in court.
Jeremiah Bamu, representing the accused, said the trial was postponed to January 20th. According to Bamu, the court heard that the police witnesses could not attend because they were attending to an ‘urgent’ issue in Parliament.
The 40 were arrested on allegations of loitering for the purposes of prostitution.
They spent two nights including New Year’s Day in custody before appearing in court on January 2nd where they were split into four groups. The first two groups were set free on January 6th after the police failed to turn up in court. The last of the four groups is expected to appear in court this Thursday.
Bamu said his clients are pleading innocent because they allege that the police broke into their homes to arrest them.
Bamu said if the police fail to turn up again he will apply for refusal of further remand on behalf of the accused.
It is commonplace in Zimbabwe for the police to arrest people without justification. In most cases the police fail to turn up in court.
In 2013 many people, including high profile activists, were dragged to court where their cases lasted long only for the accused be found completely blameless.