LAWYERS representing 22 Tajamuka members accused of burning ZBC and police vehicles during a protest last year, have threatened to apply for refusal of remand if the State continues to dither.
Tonderai Bhatasara a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (Zlhr)’s threat came after the State sought a fresh postponement of the matter to April 19, arguing witnesses were busy.
Among those facing trial for the alleged arson attack are Promise Mkwananzi, Kunashe Muchemwa, Kerina Gweshe and Michael Kauzani. They all appeared before magistrate Lazini Ncube.
Bhatasara told the court that if the witnesses defaulted again on the next remand date he would be forced to apply for refusal of further remand. The only witnesses yet to testify are the arresting officers and investigation officers.
However, magistrate Ncube warned the State to put its house in order indicating a further postponement or removal from remand would be a miscarriage of justice.The trial had been postponed on many occasions since last year due to non-availability of State witnesses and other petty excuses which the defence lawyers argued were a ploy by the State to delay justice.
It is the State’s case that on August 24 this year in the Central Business District (CBD) the suspects teamed up and conspired to cause public violence setting ablaze state owned properties which included a Ford Ranger that belong to ZRP and a Mazda BT50 owned by the ZBC as well as disturbing peace, security and order of the public.
Nancy Chandakaona prosecuted. – Newsday
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