By Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
24 March 2014
Lawyers representing MDC-T activists, accused in the murder of a Glen View cop, began laying out their case in court on Monday, as the three year saga entered what they hope will be the final stages of their ordeal.
Defence lawyer Jeremiah Bamu from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) told SW Radio Africa that activist Tungamirai Madzokere, who was granted bail in January this year after serving three years in jail, took the stand Monday afternoon and will continue giving more evidence Tuesday.
Bamu could not give details of what transpired in court as the trial is still in progress, but he explained that the prosecution had already presented their case and the defence now has to provide their evidence.
A total of 29 MDC-T activists and officials were originally arrested after Glen View cop Petros Mutedza was murdered at a local pub in May, 2011. Twenty-one of them were acquitted last year by High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, due to a lack of evidence.
Three more activists were set free earlier this month after the state withdrew charges against them, also due to a lack of incriminating evidence. Two of them, Jackson Mabota and Tarisai Kusotera, were arrested one and half years after Mutedza’s death. The third Chenjerai Muchinenyika, was picked up two years after the alleged murder.
Sadly Rebecca Mafukeni died while still in prison.
The activists have insisted from the start that they were not guilty and were arrested on trumped up charges for political reasons. The trail has dragged on for three years, with state prosecutors and judges failing to turn up on several occasions.
More evidence will be heard Tuesday.