High court judge Uchena set June 22 for MDC activists’application ruling

mdc__chHigh court judge justice Tendai Uchena has deferred the case of the four Movement for Democratic Change activists Supreme court referral application ruling to June 22.

The four MDC activists who are facing banditry charges are Concilia Chinanzvavana,Collen Mutemagau,Violet Mupfuranhewe and Fidelis Mujabami and are challenging the state through their lawyers headed by Aleck Muchadehama that they should not be tried by any court because they were not properly remanded from the time they were allegedly abducted and kidnapped in October last year to this date.

Judge justice Uchena told the court that he will deliver his ruling over the case on the 22nd of June after the applicants lawyers led by Aleck Muchadehama and the state led by Michael Mugabe from the Attorney Generals offices failed to conceded on a matter of the facts contained in one of the accused persons record which was not available and only to be available on the 15th of June.

Bothe the applicants lawyers and the state had finished to present their submissions, with only Muchadehama to present the document to the Judge on the 15th of June.

In the two day long court hearing where the applicants lawyers led by Aleck Muchadehama the applicants cited wrong remand procedures and grave violation of their human rights from the period they were abducted up to this day. They said they were never at any time given chance to air their complaints before the courts adding that the act resulted in no investigations taken against the police and state security agents whom they are accusing of violin their rights.

They also said the state confirmed that they were tortured in the hands of the state security agents, as confirmed by the then Minister of state security Dydimus Mutatasa who ordered the police to stop investigating what happened to the accused from the 31st of October to 22 December 2008 when they were finally handed over to police by the state security agents.

The applicants are victims of crimes of abduction,kidnapping,forced disappearances and torture among other serious human rights violations committed against them by the police and state security agents, and for the court to put them on trial under these circumstances would make the police and security state agents continue abducting would be enemies violet all their rights and bring them to court for trial. Even the state is conceding that the applicants were under the custody of state security agents for three months before they were brought to court. The affidavits of Mr. Didymus Mutasa orders the police not to investigate what happened to the applicants when they were in their custody and is also supported by the police report in the application which compiles to the order by Mr. Mutasa,and as a result no investigations were ever carried out in as far as the complaints of the applicants which were never raise in any court ,said Muchadechama

The state led by Michael Mugabe who was assisted by Chris Mtangadura challenged that the four were formally remanded leading to them being given bail on the 27 February 2009 and the subsequent application by the applicants lawyers for a quick trial .

The four applicants were together with the their accomplices who are on different records made their first appearance at the Harare magistrate courts on the 24th December and were formally remanded and what happened prior to their first court day appearance is beyond the states knowledge. By the fact that the four were give bail it means they were on remand, How can an accused be granted bail when he or she is not on remand? Why did the applicants made indictment application when they knew that they were not on remand? This application by the applicants is meant is attempting to bar a proper trial procedure which the state is following, argued Mr. Mugabe

The Judge later requested the record of the four applicants to ascertain whether they were properly placed on remand and the state produced the another record of other MDc activists which it claimed that they had been treated the same from the commencement of the case since they were facing the same charges.

Mr. Muchadehama challenged the production of the record and the Judge also dismissed it saying the accused were treated differently as indicated by the separation of their records.

The applicants lawyers are challenging that the high court should refer the case to the Supreme court which will seat as a constitutional court and decide whether the four should be tried or not given violation of their constitutional rights by the police and the state security agents from last year October to December 22 when they were formally charged by the state.

The suspects — all MDC-T activists — stand accused of plotting to engage in training activities related to banditry.

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