Police claim 50 MDC-T members assaulted cop at rally

Two MDC-T supporters facing trumped up charges of assaulting a cop at last weekend’s rally in Kambuzuma were granted bail in Harare on Thursday. But the police claimed 50 more MDC-T supporters were involved in the alleged incident.

Passmore Jaricha and Lovemore Chimbangu had been in detention at Warren Park Police Station since Sunday, when police briefly disrupted the Kambuzuma rally, claiming they were looking for party member who had assaulted a plain clothes policeman.

But according to Defence lawyer Gift Mutisi, his clients arrived at the rally while police were already searching for some unnamed violence perpetrator, and were not involved in any assaults on a cop. The lawyer said he doubts the incident even took place.

“It was a non-event. It never happened. These guys were just unfortunate to be arrested at that rally,” Mutisi told SW Radio Africa on Thursday. He explained that the state case relies on unnamed witnesses who the police claim to have seen the assault.

Although no other evidence has implicated Jaricha and Chimbangu, judgement was reserved on their bail application when they appeared in court Wednesday. On Thursday they were granted $50 bail each and ordered to report to the police every Friday. There will be a remand hearing on May 23rd.

“According to state papers investigations are still going on and they indicated that they want to arrest 50 more people who they allege to have been involved in assaulting the police officer,” Mutisi explained.

Police already have 29 MDC-T members in custody facing trumped up charges of murdering Glen View policeman Petros Mutedza last year. The majority were picked up randomly by police claiming to be investigating the murder. Among them is the MDC-T National Youth Chairman, Solomon Madzore, who has been detained for almost a year.

Known ZANU PF thugs and the police disrupted several MDC-T rallies last weekend, assaulting party supporters without provocation. The MDC-T have since demanded the resignation of Police Chief Augustine Chihuri and the release of all their detained members. – SW Radio Africa News

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