Witness implicates police

Augustine Mutsuva, the key state witness in a case in which MDC-T Mkoba MP, Amos Chibaya, is accused of defeating the course of justice, has disowned a police statement.

Mutsuva said police forced it on him. Early this year, Chibaya spent a week in filthy police cells at Mtapa station after he had been arrested in connection with the case. He was accused of assaulting a senior army officer, Lovemore Hungwe, and then trying to defeat the course of justice by influencing Mutsuva to misrepresent facts on the matter. Hungwe has denied ever being assaulted by Chibaya.

Giving evidence before Gweru Magistrate Meo Rubwe, Mutsuva said the police had threatened to incarcerate him if he did not implicate Chibaya in the case.

“Police told me that they would detain me if I did not say that Chibaya committed the crime. I had already spent three days in the cells and I was assured that implicating him was the only way I could be free,” said Mutsuva.

Asked by prosecutor Bornwell Balamanje whether he did not get the opportunity to see the statement he was disowning before signing it, Mustuva said: “I only agreed to all the police wanted me to do because I needed my freedom from incarceration.”

In an interview, Chibaya’s lawyer, Reginald Chidawanyika told The Zimbabwean that the state had failed to prove its case and the sensible way to move forward was to apply for the legislator’s discharge.

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