Cop murder trial fails to kick-off

The trial of MDC-T members accused of killing a police officer in Glen View last year, failed to kick off on Monday after the defence team requested more time to get instructions from their clients.

A separate bail hearing, which was set for Monday for the 29 MDC-T members, was also postponed to Thursday. Hundreds of people had turned up at the court house, in support of the MDC activists and many were turned away as the court was packed to capacity.

Lead defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba told High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that it had been difficult to interact with the accused in custody, because of the proximity of prison guards inside the cells.

Kwaramba complained that it had not been easy for the lawyers to get instructions from their clients because the prison officers were usually within earshot, instead of eyeshot as the prison regulations stipulate.

Seven members of the group spent 9 months in custody. They were released a month ago, and had only tasted freedom for just two weeks before they were taken into custody again.

The 29 MDC-T members are accused of murdering police inspector, Petros Mutedza. The group denies any involvement in the murder, saying the cop was fatally assaulted by patrons at a Glen View bar who were discussing football.

The MDC-T group comprises Solomon Madzore, the MDC Youth Assembly chairperson, Last Maengahama, a National Executive Committee member, Councillor Oddrey Sydney Chirombe of Ward 33, Budiriro, Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere of Ward 32, Glen View, Cynthia Manjoro, Lloyd Chitanda, Stanford Mangwiro, Edwin Muingiri, Francis Vambai and Tendai Chinyama.

Others are Jefias Moyo, Abina Rutsito, Gabriel Shumba, Stephen Takaedzwa, Linda Madyamhanje, Tafadzwa Billiard, Simon Mudimu, Dube Zwelibanzi, Simon Mapanzure, Augustine Tengenyika and Gapara Nyamadzawo.

The rest of the group includes Paul Rukanda, Lazarus and Stanford Maengahama, Kerina Dewa, Memory Ncube, Rebecca Mafukeni, Yvonne Musarurwa and Phineas Nhatarikwa. SW Radio Africa

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