Senior Court Reporter
DETECTIVE Chief Inspector Morgan Chafa, who was part of the team that undertook investigations following reports that CCC members Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri had been kidnapped in May 2020, yesterday told the court that they failed to obtain evidence suggesting that the duo was arrested and later kidnapped by police as they had alleged.
DCI Chafa also said that their findings following their investigations prompted them to formulate an opinion, as police, that Mamombe and Chimbiri had lied about their kidnapping.
They then levelled charges of communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the State against them, he said.
DCI Chafa said this while testifying in the matter as a State witness.
Asked by prosecutor Mr Michael Reza as to what made them formulate an opinion that the two had supplied false information about their kidnapping, DCI Chafa replied:
“Circumstances that they indicated in their statements led us to formulate that opinion, I mean to say they said police officers had arrested them at the roadblock and took them to Harare Central.
“Upon arrival, they were now taken out where they were forced to lie down in the motor vehicle against their wishes to an unidentified place, which they had not volunteered to go and according to my understanding that amounted to kidnapping.”
“If they allege that they were never kidnapped, what will be your comment?” asked Mr Reza.
DCI Chafa told the court that their statements, which were recorded in the presence of their lawyers, pointed that they had been abducted.
He told the court that Mamombe and Chimbiri told him and the investigating team that they were taken to an area which they did not identify and put in a pit.
DCI Chafa said the two told them that they were forced into a pit and made to sing and forced to ‘toyi-toyi’.
He said they told them that they were asked to do horrible including drinking colleague’s urine. Asked during cross-examination by Mamombe and Chimbiri’s lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama whether a formal kidnapping complaint was lodged at the police by the two CCC members, DCI Chafa said a report was made through informant, who happens to be Mr Jeremiah Bamu, one of their lawyers.
“A formal report was made but through an informant who made us to proceed to Muchapondwa.
“They did that through informant. It is not necessarily that a person should walk to the police station.
“What is taken first is statement of complainant and then police forms, which varies pertaining to case reported.
“They formally made the report when they gave their statements. That is another way of reporting.
“They never used the word that they were kidnapped, that word is normally arrived at by people who understands law,” he said
DCI Chafa told the court that a docket of kidnapping was opened for investigations.
“The charges emanated from statements they gave to the police that they were kidnapped.
“On statements that they gave, they indicated that they were kidnapped on May 13, 2020,” he said.
After DCI Chafa’s testimony, the State then closed its case.
Mr Muchadehama then indicated that they will file their application for discharge at the close of the State’s case on August 29 with the State expected to respond on September 2.
Chief Magistrate Mrs Faith Mushure will then make a ruling on September 9.
Meanwhile, a United States of America-based lawyers association, the American Bar Association, has expressed its interest in the trial and has since engaged a proxy to observe the court proceedings.
The American Bar Association has instructed a local law firm, Tave Nhave and Machingauta Associates to observe the trial on its behalf.
Mrs Mushore said the proxy will not be given any special treatment in court and will be treated like any other interested parties, who are following the case.