HARARE magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta yesterday acquitted MDC-T deputy national youth chairperson, Steward Shakespeare Mukoyi, who was facing charges of inciting public violence, saying police had unlawfully arrested him.
Source: MDC-T youth leader Mukoyi acquitted – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 3, 2017
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Mukoyi, who was represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Gift Mtisi, challenged his arrest, saying the statements in the charge sheet were a clear sign of the police’s abuse of office.
He also denied uttering the words which the State attributed to him, saying the police wanted to create a case where it did not exist.
Mtisi had earlier told the court that even if the words were said they were not an incitement of public violence, but a warning and a reminder that if the police were to assault them they were going to retaliate.
The lawyer had further submitted that the charges were a ploy by the police to silence opposition political parties from reminding the police to be professional, adding all what Mukoyi was purported to have said was only to remind the police of their constitutional obligations.
Magistrate Sabarauta ruled that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against Mukoyi and further failed to link him to the offence.
The two State witnesses, Constables Mtuzungari and Zvenyika, gave conflicting statements which made it easier for the court to throw away the case when they differed on the time Mukoyi was alleged to have uttered the said words.
Mtuzungari accused Zvenyika of lying in court when she told the court that Mukoyi uttered the words at around 11am while he told the same court that Mukoyi uttered the words at 3pm.
Desire Chidanire appeared for the State.