D-Day for murder-accused MDC-T activist

Source: D-Day for murder-accused MDC-T activist | The Herald August 3, 2017

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
An MDC-T activist accused of murdering a police officer at Harvest House three weeks ago will tomorrow know his fate on another charge of assaulting a police officer. Barnabas Mwanaka (35) pleaded not guilty to assaulting Constable Leonard Mugura and alternatively defeating the course of justice. Through his lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, Mwanaka applied for discharge at the close of the State case.

In his application, Mwanaka said the police officer was the one who assaulted him, but caused his arrest as a cover up.

“He could not remember which hand Mwanaka used to slap him, a clear fabrication,” said Mr Bhatasara. “The accused is right handed and Mugura said he was slapped on the right cheek, meaning accused was behind when he slapped him.

“That is not consistent with accused firstly shouting that, ‘you Zanu-PF police officer you will hurt us with your spikes’.

“Mugura is the one who assaulted the accused and arrested him to cover up his tracks.”

The prosecutor Mrs Idah Mateke-Maromo insisted that she proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

“Accused tried to stop the police officer from arresting a driver who was dropping off passengers at an undesignated point,” said Mrs Maromo.

“He was aggrieved because he alleged that he was injured by the use of spikes. He was not happy and expected the police officer to ask for forgiveness.”

Allegations against Mwanaka are that on July 8 at around 1pm, Constables Mugura, Chidawa, Ndlovu and Matingo were on duty in the city when they allegedly saw a kombi driver picking up and dropping passengers at undesignated points.

Mugura was wielding a spike and ordered the commuter omnibus driver to stop his vehicle because he was under arrest. The court heard that Mwanaka was witnessing the incident from a distance and charged towards Mugura and slapped him on the face.

He reportedly shouted: “Mupurisa we Zanu-pf unofira mahara because wanga wandikuvadzisa nespike rako” while grabbing Mugura by the collar.