Mamombe, Chimbiri cellphones never left Harare, court told Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri

Nyore Madzianike-Senior Court Reporter

CELLPHONES believed to be owned by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri never left Harare on the day they claim to have been abducted, data records have revealed.

During re-examination by the State, Engineer Tapera Christopher Kazembe said on the day the CCC activists claimed to have been abducted, there were no records of calls from a location outside Harare.

He added that there was user usage on the cellphones considering the volumes of data that was recorded on call date records.

“On the documents which you prepared, was there evidence that from 2pm and 10pm, the cellphones never left Harare or the urban area?” asked prosecutor Mr Michael Reza.

Eng Kazembe replied: “On the call records, from time of 2pm up to 10pm on the 13th of May, there is no record of call made out of area of Harare. The mobile phones did not leave Harare.”

The State yesterday accused Mamombe and Chimbiri’s lawyers of misleading the court and not acting in good faith during the ongoing trial.

This came out as the State applied for the recalling of its witness, Eng Kazembe, so that he can tender some documents related to the matter as exhibits. The State failed to tender the documents after Mamombe and Chimbiri’s lawyers, Mr Alec Muchadehama and Mr Jeremiah Bamu, objected arguing that Mr Reza had used the wrong procedure.

Chief Magistrate Mrs Faith Mushure upheld the objection for want of procedure and ruled that the State re-examine its witness.

The court’s ruling prompted Mr Reza to apply for recalling of the witness, arguing that he had initially made the same request on March 16, but only stopped after Mr Muchadehama indicated that he wanted some in colour not black and white.

“The State applies to recall the witness for purposes of admitting into record evidence he prepared. There will be no prejudice to the defence since documents were given to the defence well before proceedings commenced.

“There was only one person who knew of that ruling you made and it was court. I conceded in this court that I gave them black and white copies and I was also using black and white copies.

“On March 16, my brother made an application in this court saying he needed the photographs to be in colour and he said he would cross-examine on them when he had an opportunity to see the pictures in colour,” he said.

Mr Reza said after the court allowed that Mr Muchadehama be furnished with coloured copies of the documents, he later approached him saying he failed to get an opportunity to peruse them.

“On the next date Mr Muchadehama came to me and said they had not had an opportunity to see the photographs because they had gone somewhere else in connection with this case and I believed them.

“It is in the interest of justice that Eng Kazembe be recalled. They were not acting in good faith when they asked for time to go through coloured copies, in fact, they misled the court. That is not justice,” he said.

Mr Reza said the record of proceedings will show that he had made an application to tender the copies before Mr Muchadehama requested them in coloured print.

“My understanding was that we are all officers of court and men of honour. We don’t indicate left and turn right. This application is made in the interest of justice. The witness is the author and creator of documents and can only be produced through him,” he said.

Mr Muchadehama indicated that he will respond to the State’s application in writing on Monday before the court makes a ruling on March 31.

Mamombe and Chimbiri are expected to be back in court on March 31 when chief magistrate Mrs Mushure makes a ruling on the State’s application to recall its witness.

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