Saturday, 5 August 2017

MDC ACTIVIST HAS A CASE TO ANSWER : MAGISTRATE

An MDC-T activist who is accused of assaulting a police officer at Harvest House has a case to answer, a Harare magistrate ruled.

However, magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba acquitted Barnabas Mwanaka (35) on the charge of obstructing justice. She said State failed to prove essential elements of obstruction of justice.

Ms Mashamba placed Mwanaka on his defence on assault and asked him to explain himself. The matter was adjourned to Monday. Mwanaka is also facing charges of murdering a police officer three weeks ago at Harvest House. He pleaded not guilty to assaulting Constable Leonard Mugura.

In his application for discharge at the close of the State case, Mwanaka said the police officer was the one who assaulted him, but caused his arrest as a cover-up.

Through his lawyer, Mr Tonderai Bhatasara, Mwanaka said: “He could not remember which hand Mwanaka used to slap him, a clear fabrication. “The accused is right-handed and Mugura said he was slapped on the right cheek, meaning accused was behind when he slapped him.

“That is not consistent with accused firstly shouting that, ‘you Zanu-PF police officer you will hurt us with your spikes’.”

Allegations against Mwanaka are that on July 8 at around 1pm, Constables Mugura, Chidawa, Ndlovu and Matingo were on duty in the city when they allegedly saw a kombi driver picking up and dropping 0ff passengers at undesignated points.

Mugura was wielding a spike and ordered the commuter omnibus driver to stop his vehicle because he was under arrest. The court heard that Mwanaka was witnessing the incident from a distance and charged towards Mugura and slapped him on the face.

He reportedly shouted: “Mupurisa we Zanu-pf unofira mahara because wanga wandikuvadzisa nespike rako” while grabbing Mugura by the collar. Herald

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