Trial date for war vets executive members set
Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
INVESTIGATIONS into a case in which five Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) executive members are accused of undermining the authority of the President are complete and trial has been slated for November 22.The court dropped reporting conditions for the five, Douglas Mahiya, Francis Nhando, Victor Matemadanda, Headman Moyo and Hoyini Samuel Bhila.
The prosecutor Ms Audrey Chogumaira told the court that investigations into the matter were complete.
“Trial will commence on November 22 and shall continue the following day.“The trial will be adjourned to November 28 and shall continue until November 30,” she said.
Harare lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa applied to have reporting conditions of the five dropped since there were provided with a trial date.Ms Chogumaira did not oppose the application.Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande the granted the application.Fellow war veterans, who came for solidarity, broke into song as they left the court room.
Ms Chogumaira alleged that between April 2016 and July 2016 Mahiya, Nhando, Matemadanda, Moyo and Bhila acting in connivance with other high ranking national, provincial and district members still at large, authored a document titled “War Veterans communiqué on the state of Zimbabwe’s economy, the ZANU-PF party leadership and the way forward for the people of Zimbabwe”.
They allegedly made defamatory statements and undermined the authority of President Mugabe.
State alleged that they created the communiqué with the knowledge and realisation that its contents could ignite feelings of hostility or cause hatred, contempt or ridicule towards President Mugabe.
On July 18, Mahiya held a meeting at Raylton Sports Club and issued the communiqué to a few journalists, leading to the document being published in NewsDay and on the Internet.It is alleged that in an interview with SABC reporter, Matemadanda also denigrated the President.
On July 27, a search was conducted at Mahiya’s residence and copies of the communiqué were found.Also retrieved at Mahiya’s house were documents titled “Response to the President’s attack on War Veterans”, which also undermined the President’s authority.