Mtetwa’s bumpy walk to freedom

Harare Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa has adjourned the trial of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) board chairperson Beatrice Mtetwa to next month after State witnesses failed to turn up in court on Thursday 26 September 2013.

Beatrice Mtetwa
Beatrice Mtetwa

Magistrate Mugwagwa was forced to adjourn the trial to 4 October 2013 after the State, led by Tawanda Zvekare, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the Attorney General’s Office, failed to bring its remaining witnesses to testify in court.

The State was on Thursday scheduled to lead evidence from Assistant Inspector Thabani Nkomo, its fifth witness after Mtetwa and her lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, finished cross examining Detective Sergeant Taizivei Tembo.

To date Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage, Detective Sergeant Ngatirwe Mamiza and Tembo have already testified against Mtetwa.

The four remaining witnesses include Assistant Inspector Thabani Nkomo, Chido Chawanikwa, a police officer, Stembiwe Vera, a caretaker at former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and development office, Brian Mutusva, a computer technician and a driver, Zororai Mudariki.

Mtetwa, a respected and award winning human rights lawyer was arrested on 17 March 2013 and charged with contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

Police accused her of defeating or obstructing the course of justice by allegedly interfering with a search conducted at one of Tsvangirai’s offices in Harare. Mtetwa argues that she simply asked to be shown a search warrant by the police officers to substantiate their actions.

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