State case collapses as magistrate acquits chipangano victim

MBARE Magistrate Victoria Mashamba on Monday 14 May 2012 acquitted human rights activist and Stendrick Zvorwadzaof the charge of threats to commit murder against two ZANU PF activists.

Zvorwadza, the spokesperson of the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) had been on trial since his arrest in February on charges of contravening Section 186 (1) (a) and (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly making threats of murder against Clifford Mazarura, the ZANU PF Mbare Ward 4 Chairperson andClever Ntabende, the former ruling party’s Secretary for Ward 4.

Prosecutors had charged that Zvorwadza, a director at Ocean Petroleumunlawfully threatened to murder Mazarura and Ntabende with a gun after the two Mbare residents tried to interfere and challenge him to stop a project he was setting up in Mbare to provide liquid paraffin to residents who put up with intermittent power outages.

But Magistrate Mashamba on Monday found Zvorwadza not guilty and acquitted him after ruling that there was evidence of bad blood between thetwo parties and there was a high possibility that either side fabricatedor lied to the court and thus created a shadow of doubt especially inthe absence of independent corroborating testimony.

During the trial Zvorwadza’s lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights argued that his client was arrested when he went to the Matapi police station on 28 January 2012 to report his harassment and the threat to violently shut down his business project. This was after he was seen by Mazarura and Ntabende overseeing the installation of underground paraffin tanks at Old Municipality Pump house, a designated industrial service stand.

Mazarura and Ntabende, who are allegedly linked to the ZANU PF notorious violent group, which has been spearheading the harassment and persecution of residents in the high density suburb wanted Zvorwadza to discontinue his business project as ZANU PF would not allow any Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) aligned business to be set up or flourish in Mbare. This was after the Mbare residents had told the human rights activist that they had it on good authority that he was an MDC supporter.

Post published in: Politics

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