Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
The High Court has acquitted Dzivaresekwa member of the National Assembly Solomon Madzore alongside 20 other MDC-T activists on charges of murdering a senior police officer in Glen View two years ago. Justice Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday cleared the 21 at the close of the prosecution’s case.
Mr Madzore and 20 others were part of the 29 people who were being charged for killing Inspector Petros Mutedza at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre on May 29 2011. Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, however, dismissed the application for discharge in respect of seven others and ruled that they had a case to answer.
The court ruled that the prosecution had at least proved a prima-facie case against the seven and that they should undergo a full trial.
One of the suspects, Rebecca Mafukeni, died last month before judgment was passed. Justice Bhunu yesterday could, however, not pass judgment in respect of Mafukeni pending the filing of a death certificate to prove that she is dead.
There were mixed reactions from the 28 activists and their relatives after the delivery of the judgment.
Some hugged, ululated and screamed in jubilation after their relatives had been acquitted while others were in tears over the dismissal of the seven’s application.
In a lengthy judgment that took almost an hour, Justice Bhunu ruled that the bulk of those who were acquitted were arrested in the absence of any incriminating evidence.
Some were prosecuted despite providing alibis that were later confirmed to be true. The judge singled out Mr Madzore, who was arrested despite giving an explanation that he had taken his pregnant wife to a doctor on the fateful day.
That alibi was confirmed by the doctor who attended to his wife, but the police insisted on taking him to court.
Justice Bhunu also slammed the police for arresting Cynthia Manjoro as a bait to apprehend her boyfriend, who was seen driving the woman’s vehicle at the crime scene.
He described the police conduct as unprofessional. The seven whose applications were thrown out had either confirmed their presence at the scene or had been identified by the police at the scene of the crime.
Justice Bhunu, however, emphasised that the dismissal of the seven’s applications for discharge does not mean they were guilty. He said they had to clarify some issues through outlining their defences.
The seven are being charged of killing Insp Mutedza on May 29 2011 at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre.
He had been deployed to maintain peace and order in Glen View while leading the police reaction group.
On the fateful day, MDC-T youths were illegally gathered at Glen View 4 Shopping Centre where they were celebrating their T-Shirt visibility day.
Glen View police officers went and dispersed the youths. They proceeded to Glen View 3 shops where they gathered at Munyarari Bar.
Police called for reinforcements and Insp Mutedza drove to Glen View with his team. They teamed up with some officers at Glen View Police Station and they drove to Munyarari Bar where the youths were gathered.
While trying to disperse the crowd, Inspector Mutedza was stoned to death.