SEVENTEEN Zanu PF supporters aligned to a ruling party faction loyal to National Security minister Didymus Mutasa have been jailed by the Rusape Magistrates’ Court for three years each in a political violence case initi
ally linked to the minister.
Mutasa however got off the hook after state witnesses refused to implicate him in the clashes that erupted in the run-up to the ruling party’s primary elections for the 2005 general election.
The violence saw Mutasa’s supporters destroying property and leading attacks on a rival Zanu PF group led by war veteran James Kaunye who was contesting the minister’s Makoni North seat.
In an interview on Monday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Loice Matanda-Moyo, confirmed the jailing of Mutasa’s supporters who include Zanu PF’s Makoni North district chairman Albert Nyakuedzwa, who is also facing murder charges on a separate case.
“Seventeen were convicted and sentenced to 36 months imprisonment. Ten months were suspended on condition of good behaviour and another six months were suspended on condition that they pay for the damaged property,” Matanda-Moyo said.
The conviction and sentencing of the 17 comes more than a month after 12 other accused persons in the same case, including Nyakuedzwa’s wife Erica Nyaude, were acquitted and discharged as no one linked them to the violence.