Tarisai Machakaire 3 August 2017
HARARE – An MDC activist accused of murdering a cop at the party’s Harvest
House headquarters has disputed a further assault charge saying police
officers fabricated the case to nail him.
Barnabas Mwanaka is being charged with obstruction of justice or
alternatively assault before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba.
He allegedly slapped a cop in a bid to stop him from arresting a kombi
driver who had reportedly dropped off passengers at an undesignated point.
Through his lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, Mwanaka applied for discharge at
the close of the State case, arguing that the prosecution team had failed
to prove essential elements of the preferred charges.
“From the evidence led, there is no indication that when (police officer)
Leonard Mugura was allegedly slapped, he was executing a specific duty as
a police officer. The State case is founded on falsehoods and no
reasonable court can safely act on it,” Bhatasara argued.
“The evidence of State witnesses contradicted each other on material
aspects. There is no reason to believe that accused person, if put to his
defence, will furnish any evidence that will make the State witnesses
evidence believable or reliable.
Prosecutor Idah Maromo argued that Mwanaka deliberately committed the
offence and knew that Mugura was a cop.
“It is crystal clear that the accused person knew that Mugura was
executing his duties since he was clad in police uniform which every
Zimbabwean citizen is aware of,” Maromo argued.
“From the totality of evidence on record, it is clear that the State has
managed to prove a prima facie case as required at law.”