BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
THE MDC Alliance Veterans Activist Association (VAA) yesterday blasted the country’s justice system saying it was compromised to the extent that innocent people clocked several years in jail without proper investigation of their cases taking place.
VAA secretary-general Charles Musimiki told NewsDay that as a result of the flawed justice system in the country, several political activists were resorting to taking refuge in neighbouring South Africa in fear of lengthy imprisonment.
Their statement came soon after a decision last Friday by Supreme Court judges Justices Rita Makarau, Elizabeth Gwaunza and Susan Mavangira to acquit two MDC Alliance activists, Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere, of the 2011 murder of police Inspector Petros Mutedza during a gathering dispersal at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre in Harare.
Musimiki said it was heartrending that a verdict on their matter was reached in March last year, but was only announced in June this year.
“How can a verdict take over a year to be read out? Our justice system is very much compromised. For a verdict to be passed only after eight years, worse still acquitting the accused, is not injustice alone, but it is incarceration and persecution of innocent civilians which is something never expected in this modern world,” he said.
Musimiki said what happened to Maengahama and Madzokere exposed that the country did not have a reliable justice system.
“For the record, we are not yet independent as a country because the oppression we fought against what was perpetrated by a few white men is exactly what we see being practised today by our own kith and kin. The draconian laws during the Rhodesian Ian Smith regime are now back but are camouflaged with new
“We need a Zimbabwe that treats all Zimbabweans equally irrespective of political, religious or social affiliation,” he said.
Maengahama and Madzokere were found guilty in 2013 of the 2011 murder charge by the High Court and they clocked eight years at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which represented the duo, said Justice Chinembiri Bhunu “was obliged to acquit them at the close of the State’s case when no evidence justifying their placement on defence had been led, and in doing so, had denied them a fair trial”.
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