Gomwe, company apply for refusal of further remand

09 Jun, 2016 - 00:06 0 Views
Gomwe, company apply for refusal of further remand Godwin Gomwe

The Herald

Godwin Gomwe

Godwin Gomwe

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Three expelled zanu-pf provincial youth chairpersons accused of inciting public violence yesterday made an application for refusal of further remand, arguing that they have been on remand for a long time without being furnished with a trial date.

Godwin Gomwe, Godfrey Tsenengamu and Vengai Musengi are accused of holding a Press conference with the intention of inciting war veterans to commit public violence.

They are also accused of circulating WhatsApp messages mobilising youths to commit public violence, tearing and burning a T-shirt inscribed “Vanhu vese kuna Amai”.

Tsenengamu, Gomwe and Musengi yesterday appeared before Mr Tendai Mahwe, who then gave the State a last chance to put its house in order.

The prosecutor, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa sought for a further remand on the basis that the State was yet to record a statement from its witness Mr Kudzai Chipanga.

He also indicated that the police was yet to retrieve WhatsApp messages from service providers reportedly circulated by the trio.

“Your Worship, if we may be given a last chance to allow the police to attend to these instructions from the Prosecutor-General’s Office,” he said.

However, the trio’s lawyer Mr Zivanai Macharaga opposed the postponement and made an application for refusal of further remand.

He argued that his clients have been on remand for four months with the state “singing the same song” of wanting to record a statement from Mr Chipanga.

“These three accused persons first appeared in this court on March 7 and the matter was remanded to April 7 to allow the State to record Chipanga’s statement. On April 7, the State told the court that Chipanga had not been located and requested for more time, which saw the case being further remanded to May 5,” he said.

“Surprisingly, on that day — May 5 — the State said the same thing that the statement was still outstanding.”

Mr Macharaga said the State even blamed Chipanga for misleading the police that he was coming from Mutare to have his statement recorded.

“After seeing that Chipanga was not forthcoming, the State indicated that they were sourcing resources to travel to Mutare and obtain his statement but still the statement is not there,” he said.

He expressed concern over how the State was failing to record a statement from someone whom he said was resident in Zimbabwe. He added that after May 5, the State was given another chance and the matter was given a longer remand to yesterday.

Mr Macharaga said the State’s explanation was still the same and accused the state of not making any progress.

The defence said the State would not suffer any prejudice if the three are removed from remand and the State ordered to proceed by way of summons. Mr Mahwe remanded the matter to June 29 and he also expressed concern over the delay by the State to obtain Mr Chipanga’s statement.

According to the State, on February 16, the three held a Press conference in Harare during which they expressed their anger against some senior zanu-pf and Government officials.

The court heard that they knew very well that the war veterans intended to have a meeting on February 18 and by conducting the Press conference, the trio wanted to incite the war veterans to commit public violence, alleging that affairs of the zanu-pf party were being run unfairly.

It is the State’s case that the trio sent WhatsApp messages mobilising youths and war veterans to join them in what they termed the “Save zanu-pf campaign’’.

On February 18, the court heard, the trio, acting in common purpose, went to City Sports Centre where war veterans had a meeting.

Without being provoked, the trio tore and burnt a T-shirt inscribed “Vanhu vese kuna Amai’’ it is alleged.

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