Cop implicates police in Glen View murder, violence

Solomon Mushaninga, the State’s fourth witness in the Glen View murder trial, today blamed the disturbances that led to the death of a police officer at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre on the arrival of the Harare police provincial reaction group (PRG).

A total of 29 MDC members are being falsely accused of the murder and public violence. They are all in remand prison and their murder trial started last week on Monday.

Mushaninga, a constable based in Mabvuku, Harare told Justice Chinembiri Bhunu today while under cross examination from both the State and defence lawyers that when the PRG, of which he was part of, arrived at the shopping centre, the situation was calm but disturbances only started upon their arrival.

“There were no disturbances but our arrival at Glen View 3 caused the disturbances,” Mushaninga said. It was his first time to take part in the PRG operations.

However, during today’s court proceedings Mushaninga was on many circumstances seriously contradicting himself on what exactly transpired on the fateful day, which resulted in the death of Inspector Petros Mutedza.

Most of his statements were also inconsistent with those of other State witnesses who have taken the stand before him.

The State has lined up 20 witnesses.

In his police statement prepared a day after the incident last year, Mushaninga told the police investigating the case that there were about 50 people in red and white t-shirts who were drinking outside Munyarari Bar, the scene of the disturbances.

However, today, Mushaninga changed his statement saying there were between 80 and 100 people at the bar.

Mushaninga further contradicted himself in his signed police statement on the description of Last Maengahama, the MDC National Executive member who is part of the accused, describing him as a “tall boy of medium built”.

However, this was disputed by the defence lawyers forcing Justice Bhunu to ask Maengahama to take a parade with Mushaninga to verify who was taller than the other.

They are both of similar height, a height which Mushaninga had earlier described as short. He said he did not recall saying that Maengahama was tall and of medium built and claimed that the police officer who had prepared his statement had erroneously done so.

“I erred in describing him as a boy,” Mushaninga said.

It was pointed out to Mushaninga by the defence lawyers that Maengahama has an alibi which shows that on the day of the incident he was attending church and information from various cellphone base stations show that he was nowhere near Glen View 3 Shopping Centre.

The police officer told the packed court room that he could not tell who threw the stone which hit Inspector Mutedza or where it came from as he was also running for his life.

“It was a matter of life and death to see the person responsible,” he said although he claimed to have seen and identified Maengahama as the person who threw a bar stool at him.

Despite statements by the first three State witnesses last week that the Glen View 3 Shopping Centre was teeming with vendors, shoppers, kombi drivers and car washers since it was month-end, Mushaninga said this was incorrect as there were only very few people who included those in red and white t-shirts at the shopping centre drinking and braaing.

“I cannot confirm that as we saw things differently,” was Mushaninga’s constant remark under cross examination.

The trial continues tomorrow at 10am.

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