THE state case against six suspected coup plotters arrested last year is beginning to crumble as the police have failed to make new arrests since last yea
The six men being accused of plotting the coup were due to appear in court for routine remand yesterday but officials at Chikurubi prison on Wednesday told their lawyer, Charles Warara, that the prison’s truck had broken down so his clients could not attend the hearing.
“I went to Chikurubi yesterday (Wednesday) and a senior officer there told me that their truck had broken down,” said Warara.
However, when Warara went to court yesterday to represent his clients in absentia, he was told that there was a mix up and his case could not be heard.
“This is just an excuse by the state to keep my clients in custody, which shows that they are not ready for trial,” added Warara.
The six accused, Albert Matapo, Nyasha Zivuku, Oncemore Mudzurahona, Emmanuel Marara, Patson Mupfure and Shingirai Mutemachani, have been in police custody since May last year.
Superintendent Simon Mundondwa, the police officer commanding Law and Order in Harare who is investigating the case told the court in November that more arrests were to be made within two weeks.
“There are now strong leads and some of the outstanding accused will be arrested soon,” said Mundondwa in an affidavit he submitted to the court at the time.
However, the accused’s lawyer said there is concern over the continued detention of his clients and the court’s failure to come up with a trial date.
“We have been trying to get hold of the investigating officer to find out if there are new developments but up to now we have not been told anything,” Warara said.
“The state promised to make more arrests last year but up to now no new arrest linked to the case has been made,” he added.
Up to this stage the state is yet to present tangible evidence linking the accused to the foiled coup.
Warara last year told the Zimbabwe Independent that no guns or the element of the execution of the supposed coup has been brought before the courts to justify the lengthy stay of the accused in police custody.
“Our worry is that the police are taking time to finalise their investigations yet our clients have been on further remand since last year,” said Warara.