Weekly Case Tracker—January 30 to February 3:

NUST Case Collapses:

The case involving four National University of Science and Technology NUST students collapsed on Monday with the last two students being acquitted. The four were facing charges of participating in an illegal gathering with intentions of causing public violence following a demonstration by NUST students on campus in 2010.

However, on January 12 this year, the first two students, David Mushawani and Earnest Makoni were acquitted. Their colleagues and co-accused, Duncan Mombeshora and Beven Nyamande were then acquitted on January 30, bringing to an end a case that had dragged from June 1 2010.

The acquittal was brought about by failure of the state to bring any evidence before the magistrate. Despite several postponements requested by the state, the trial failed to take off as witnesses were unable to turn up for various reasons. The magistrate was left with no option but to throw out the state’s case and free the students.

Treason Trial Heads for Conclusion:

The trial involving ZINASU’s Welcome Zimuto and five civic society activists, Munyaradzi Gwisai, Hopewell Gumbo, Antoneta Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara and Edson Chakuma is heading for conclusion. After cross-examining state witnesses, defence lawyer Aleck Muchadehama indicated that he is now applying for discharge after the state concluded its case. Initially charged with treason, the six are now facing charges of Conspiracy to commit public violence as defined in section 188 as read with section 36 of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] stemming from a members’ meeting they had on February 19 2011.

The trial has been a long drawn out process with the star witness’ credibility being questioned by the defence. The trial was in session on January 30 and 31. The magistrate has asked for written submissions from the two councils and he will give a determination on February 15.

Great Zimbabwe University Student’s Trial Continues:

Prosper Tiringindi; a great Zimbabwe University student appeared in court on January 31 as his trial continued. He is facing charges of assault and malicious damage to property. He is accused of assaulting the dean and damaging college property. The trial continues on February 10.

Midlands State University Student in the Dock:

The trial of Shannon Moyo, a Midlands State University student continued on January 31. Moyo faces charges of malicious damage to property stemming from a demonstration last year. The trial continues on March 26.

Masvingo Activists on Trial:

Five Masvingo activists appeared before a Masvingo Magistrate on the 1st of February. The five Arnold Batirai, Zivanai Muzorodzi, Gamuchirai Mukura, Godfrey Kurauone and Brighton Ramusi are facing charges of malicious damage to property and assault. The matter will continue on the 8th of February.

Students Summoned for Assault:

Arnold Batirai was today hauled before a Masvingo magistrate charged with assault. He is accused of hackling a police detail late last year. He is expected back in court on February 16.

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