Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
GLEN View 3 Shopping Centre in Harare was yesterday temporarily closed with heavy security deployed to allow the High Court to carry out an inspection in loco in the case of 29 MDC-T activists accused of murdering a police inspector.
A convoy of vehicles, led by a traffic police BMW, left the High Court at around 11am heading for Glen View.
Riot police were all over and The Herald had to seek written permission to be allowed at the shopping centre after earlier attempts to enter failed.
Inspector Petros Mutedza was killed in May last year while leading a reaction team after violence broke out at a bar where MDC-T was conducting a meeting.
Roads were barricaded and The Herald news team was stopped by six different groups of policemen before reaching the shopping centre.
There was no business at the shopping centre and residents could be seen jostling to catch a glimpse of the proceedings from a distance.
Journalists who had gate-crashed were escorted away by policemen.
The 29 suspects could be heard singing when they arrived in a Zimbabwe Prison Service truck popularly known as “magumete”.
They were handcuffed while others were in leg irons.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, accompanied by his two assessors, toured Munyarari Bar, the scene of the crime.
The bar, where the fracas started, is no longer in use.
Three witnesses — Assistant Inspector Spencer Nyararai, Constable Solomon Mushaninga and Mr Joshua Daka — made indications at the scene before the court adjourned around 1pm.
People who were barred from attending the inspection in loco were eager to follow the proceedings through some openings.
Police warned some of the people after they were seen raising hands and shouting at the suspects.
Chief law officer Mr Morgan Dube, law officers Edmore Nyazamba, Mr Editor Mauto and Mr Mafuwa Toendepi Mafuwa attended the session.
The defence team comprised Mrs Beatrice Mtetwa, Mr Selby Hwacha, Mr Alec Muchadehama, Mr Charles Kwaramba, Mr Jeremiah Bhamu and Mr Gift Mutisi.
Justice Bhunu deferred the proceedings to today when the trial continues at the High Court.
The suspects include Tungamirai Madzokere, Yvonne Musarurwa, Lazarus Maengahama, Rebecca Mafukeni, Simon Mapanzure and MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore.
They have spent close to a year in remand prison because their bail applications are being opposed.
The 29 have had their bail applications dismissed because they did not establish special circumstances warranting their release on bail as required by Section 117 (6) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. The section, according to Justice Bhunu, bars the court from granting bail to people accused of killing a police officer unless they establish special circumstances.