via MDC-T MP, activists’ trial takes new twist – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 26, 2016
The trial of Highfield East MP Erick Murai (MDC-T) and 13 others, arrested last November on charges of public violence, took a new twist yesterday, after the defence lawyer accused the investigating officer, Chenjerai Mugomba, of misrepresenting facts under oath.
BY NQOBILE NKIWANE
Tonderai Bhatasara accused Mugomba of lying after he gave a conflicting account from the one given by the first State witness, Obey Muzivi, last week.
Muzivi initially told the court, when the police arrived at the scene of the incident on the day in question, their leader, Inspector Chimombe, spoke to one man, who appeared to be the leader at the gathering.
Muzivi had also said 20 police officers attended the scene and that the police only started throwing teargas cannisters after arresting 13 MDC-T party members.
In his evidence, Mugomba said when the police arrived, Chimombe addressed the crowd and that the police threw teargas after the MDC-T activists started throwing stones before anyone had been arrested.
When asked by Bhatasara to explain the different versions, Mugomba maintained his version was the true reflection of events.
Bhatasara went on to accuse Mugomba of misleading the court by giving the number of people, who were allegedly in Murai’s car, yet he had said he had not gone near the vehicle.
“You are lying. What you are saying is what you were told by Muzivi,” Bhatasara charged.
Murai (44) is being charged alongside 13 other activists following the separation of their trial.
Allegations against the 14 are that on November 8 last year, they attended an unsanctioned rally and pelted police officers with stones.
The State alleges on November 2 last year, one Trouble Hasha, applied for permission at Mbare Police Station to hold a rally at Kazembe Rising Stars Primary School in Hopley, but the regulating authority did not approve of it.
On the day in question, the activists proceeded to gather at the school with other MDC-T supporters, Murai included, dressed in their party regalia and upon being dispersed by the police, they turned violent, leading to their arrest.