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Police charge Mutasa

Clemence Manyukwe

NATIONAL Security minister Didymus Mutasa was last week charged by the police over the assault on war veteran James Kaunye in 2004 — an incident that resulted in 16 of his supporters being jailed for three years earlier this year.

Sources said police recorded a warned and cautioned statement from Mutasa last week. This came shortly before Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa was acquitted on related charges.

Chinamasa faced allegations of pressuring Kaunye to drop charges against Mutasa’s supporters, among them the minister’s campaign manager and Makoni North chairman, Albert Nyakuedzwa, who is currently serving a three-year sentence.

Sources said witnesses had also made statements to the police and what remained was a trial date for the case.
Kaunye was attacked and left unconscious and had title deeds to his house in Vengere township, Rusape, seized after declaring his intention to challenge Mutasa in Zanu PF primary elections in 2004.

In an interview on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri said he could not comment on the issue but said any lawbreaker would answer for his deeds regardless of his status in society. In 2004 police said Mutasa had a case to answer.

Chihuri added that he wanted more time to check on the latest development, but efforts to reach him later were fruitless as he was said to be in meetings.

No official could confirm the latest developments.

Police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, yesterday said: “I have found nothing.”

On Wednesday Mutasa said: “What is Chihuri saying on the issue? I will not comment if you do not tell me the name of the policeman who told you that. I will only comment if they arrest me.”

His lawyer, Gerald Mlotshwa, yesterday said: “I do not know anything.”

During Chinamasa’s trial Manicaland prosecutor Levison Chikafu said the fact that Mutasa had not been taken to court “does not mean that he is not coming”. Chikafu also said the Zanu PF secretary for administration’s wings “must be clipped to the greatest extent” leading to Mutasa threatening to sue.

During the trial of Mutasa’s supporters in January, prominent Mutare lawyer Amon Toto made an application for the court to indict the minister after accusing the state of selective prosecution by leaving out Mutasa whom he termed the main perpetrator.

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