Wednesday, October 09, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) D-day for MDC-T cop murder accused
16/09/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T activists charged with murdering a police officer in 2011 return to court on Tuesday to learn whether they will be set free or put to their defence in a drawn-out case which has seen the prison death of one of the suspects.

High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu, who is presiding over the high profile case, is set to deliver the verdict.

The activists are charged with the murder of police inspector Petros Mutedza in May 2011 at a pub in Harare’s Glen View area after cops were deployed to quell political disturbances in the high density suburb. They also face alternatives charges for public violence.

29 MDC-T members, including national youth chairman Solomon Madzore, were arrested over Mutedza’s murder but one of the group, Rebecca Mafikeni, died while still detained at Harare remand prison last month.

The activists, who are represented by attorneys from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, deny the charges and have since applied for discharge, arguing that the State has failed to prove a its case against them.
But Tuesday’s court appearance is likely to stoke emotions following the death of Mafikeni in mid-August.

Party officials claimed prison officers denied her medication claiming this contributed to her death from meningitis. She was 29.

Her death also came as the party struggled to come to terms with its defeat in the July 31 elections which it dismissed as a monumental farce, claiming the vote was rigged.

Addressing mourners at her funeral, party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Mafikeni’s death was “an indictment” on the country’s prison system.

"Rebecca's death is an indictment of our prison system, an indictment of our justice system,” he said.

"How can one spend two years in remand prison? This is totally intolerable. People are being arrested for political reasons while criminals are going scot-free."

He added: “We are not just mourning Rebecca but we are also all in national mourning because of somebody who said ‘l have won fairly’ an election which represents the biggest fraud this country has ever seen and even the world has ever seen.”

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