State is malicious – Makoni

simba_makoni2BINDURA - The Supreme Court will determine whether the former Finance Minister and losing Presidential Candidate in the March 2008 elections, Simba Makoni, should face trial for violating the repressive Public Order and Security Act (POSA), a Bindura magistrate ruled last week. (Pictured:Simba Makoni)

Makoni, who broke away from Zanu (PF) early last year, to form the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn Political Project to contest the election as an independent, is being charged for addressing more than 400 supporters in March last year without police permission, as is required under POSA.

Makoni said he saw “malice” in the decision by the state to pursue charges for a case that it had seemingly discarded months ago. He came a distant third in the Presidential race which was widely believed to have been won by MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai.

Police re-opened his case in June this year, a time when the former politburo member launched his political project as a new party.

The state had lined up two Zanu (PF) members and councillors as witnesses – Henry Magundani and Tendai Kuzvidza – who failed to turn up to hear the ruling last week. Also subpoenaed to testify in the matter were four police officers stationed at Glendale Police Station, namely Albert Chifamba, Johane Chimbari, Oddington Chonze and Jacob Pedzai, to testify against Makoni.

Denford Magora, Makoni’s spokesperson said he was not surprised that the court had seen it fit to refer his boss’s case to the Supreme Court. “It was really gong to be difficult, if not ridiculous, for the court to decide otherwise without discrediting itself and the already battered judicial system in Zimbabwe. It would have been interesting to hear the reasons for

the ruling that the case should proceed, as the state was insisting,” said Magora.

President Robert Mugabe’s opponents and human rights groups accuse the veteran leader of using POSA to bar his opponents from campaigning freely and to persecute dissenters to his controversial rule.

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