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Courts biased: CCC activists

LAWYERS representing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Joanah Mamombe and fellow party member Cecilia Chimbiri have alleged bias by the courts in the way their case is being handled.

This was after magistrate Faith Mushure dismissed their application for discharge.

Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama said his clients were asking for a postponement to approach the High Court for a review of her decision.

Muchadehama said Mushure’s decision grossly violated Mamombe and Chimbiri’s right to the protection and benefit of the law as guaranteed in the Constitution.

“Mushure’s decision was also grossly irregular in that she put the applicants to their defence in order that they may incriminate themselves and also to bolster a State case which could not stand on its own,” Muchadehama said.

“Her decision was also grossly irregular and unreasonable in that having identified the tests to be applied at the close of the State case, the court did the opposite and put the duo to its defences when none of the requirements had been met.”

Mamombe and Chimbiri face charges of faking their own abduction and communicating false statements prejudicial to the State.

“The State further ignored the evidence of the other witnesses for the State that include Godfrey Mangezi which exonerated the duo. The court ignored the evidence of applicants having been tortured, injured, wounded and unable to walk or talk,” Muchadehama added.

“We spent hours viewing ghostly videos which had nothing to do with the accused persons. The State alleged they were seen in Belgravia, TV and Hire sales, Chicken Inn, but no evidence of video footage were seen in court. The State’s claim that the accused persons were in Harare has not been supported by any evidence.”

The matter was postponed to Monday for continuation of trial.

In an unrelated case, CCC Beitbridge district chairperson Elliot Mabeza, has been acquitted of charges of participating in an illegal gathering ahead of opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s visit.

In his application for discharge through his lawyer Patrick Tererai of Tererai Legal Practice, Mabeza said there was no evidence after State witnesses said they only saw one car, not a procession.

Mabeza (53) was arrested on March 13 this year on allegations of leading a procession and an illegal gathering ahead of a rally addressed by Chamisa.

Zanu PF members Pedzisai Hove and Bernard Mpofu on that day alerted the police of the alleged illegal gathering when they complained of noise in their neighbourhood.

Magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba ruled in Mabeza’s favour.

Tawanda Chigavazira prosecuted.

 

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