Trio makes freedom bid at high court

HIGH Court Judge Justice Priscilla Chigumba will on Wednesday 25 July 2017 deliver her ruling on an application for bail filed by three Harare residents, who were arrested early this month and charged with murder following the death of Talkmore Phiri, a law enforcement agent, who reportedly died last month following skirmishes between police officers and informal sector traders in Harare.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers arrested Darlington Madzonga aged 41, Edmore Musvubhi aged 32 and Barnabas Mwanaka aged 35 years, early this month and charged them with murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 09:23).

Prosecutors charged that Madzonga, Mwanaka and Musvubhi mobilised themselves on Thursday 29 June 2017 and connived to attack some police officers from the ZRP’s Police Reaction Group, who were on duty escorting some officers from Harare Central Police Station’s Operations Unit.

The police officers from Harare Central Police Station’s Operations Unit were reportedly going to attend a “scene” of malicious damage to property at the Deeds Office in central Harare.

The trio, the ZRP officers claimed, hit the now deceased Phiri with stones and “booted” feet, and the police officer had to be rescued by his workmates who rushed him to Morris Depot, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

In the bail applications filed by Tonderai Bhatasara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, representing Madzonga, Mwanaka and Musvubhi, the human rights lawyer argued that the trio deny ever participating in the disturbances that reportedly happened on Thursday 29 June 2017.

Bhatasara argued that the allegation that his clients were seen at the scene during the murder of the ZRP officer was a fabrication and that the charge was preferred as an afterthought.

In the case of Mwanaka, Bhatasara argued that the Harare resident was arrested on Saturday 8 July 2017 after he had asked a ZRP officer who had injured him on his arm to apologise after the law enforcement agent swung a metal spike when he alighted from a commuter omnibus vehicle as Mwanaka was walking past.

Justice Chigumba will deliver her ruling on the bail applications, which are being opposed by the National Prosecuting Authoring, on Wednesday 26 July 2017 at 9 AM.

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