Dzamara, Masarira case takes dramatic twist

Source: Dzamara, Masarira case takes dramatic twist – DailyNews Live January 24, 2017

Tarisai Machakaire

HARARE – A lawyer representing pro-democracy activists, including Patson
Dzamara and Linda Masarira, yesterday humiliated the arresting officer for
plagiarising the same statement previously submitted in court by his

Obey Shava was representing Dzamara and Masarira together with Makomborero
Haruzivishe, Rangarirai Mhende and Leverage Masvondo who are being charged
with insulting cops.

They appeared before Harare magistrate Gamuchirai Siwadi.

Masimba Masiyatengwa, one of the officers who formed a crack team that
arrested the #Tajamuka members, was shocked when Shava exposed that the
statement he had tendered only differed with that of his teammate Gift
Chingwaru on the signatures.

“Are you aware that your statement and that of your teammate Chingwaru are
similar word-for-word except for signatures? Would it also be by
coincidence that where you put a bracket, comma or full stop, he did the
same?” Shava asked.

“It is clear that the statements were created by one person based on what
you wanted to show the court which is not what actually happened on the
day in question,” he said.

Masiyatengwa was reluctant to comment on the issue saying he did not have
a say over what his colleague had penned.

Shava further accused Masiyatengwa of lying because his evidence differed
with Chingwaru, who had testified before him.

“You just told the court that Dzamara and Masarira had to be manhandled to
be put into a police vehicle but when Chingwaru testified in this court,
he said the accused persons entered into the car freely.

“You also say there were about 200 people in Harare Gardens that day yet
Chingwaru said 500,” Shava added.

Masiyatengwa maintained that he could comment on his colleague’s evidence
and further claimed that Masarira conducted herself violently on the day
that she had to be bundled into the police vehicle.

“We discovered that there were a group of about 20 people who were wearing
black T-shirts and caps addressing each other in the park.

“As we drew closer, some of them disappeared and these accused persons
remained behind,” Masiyatengwa said.

“The second accused person became violent and started shouting at us
before her colleagues joined in leading to their arrest.”

In response, Shava queried why the police officers failed to record any
statements from the crowd alleged to have witnessed the melee.

Prosecutor Oscar Madhume alleged that on October 14, last year, Dzamara
and his accomplices – including others who are still at large – gathered
in Harare Gardens for undisclosed reasons.

The court heard that activists were clad in black T-shirts inscribed “The
End Game, A New Zimbabwe is Possible.”

Dzamara and his team were reportedly approached by police officers on duty
who wanted to establish the purpose of their gathering.

It was alleged that some of the accused persons ran away.

Dzamara, Masarira, Haruzivishe, Mhende and Masvondo remained behind and
police enquired from them why they had gathered.

They reportedly became abusive and insulted the cops saying “Muri imbwa
dzevanhu mapurisa, isu hatisungwe nembwa (Police are dogs and we will not
be arrested by dogs)” and “Police you are puppets”.

The trial continues on February 9.