Thursday 18 May 2023


The trial of activist Sybeth Musengezi, in which he is being accused of joining ZANU PF party structures fraudulently yesterday continued with his counsel making attempts to make the court disregard the State witness evidence which they called “hearsay”.

The State led its first witness Zanu PF chairman for Harare province Cde Godwills Masimirembwa, who testified how they found out that Musengezi was not a member of the party.

He said following some investigations on the cell register, the party discovered that Musengezi had used two different addresses neither of which he resided nor conducted any visits there.

Musengezi legal counsel Mr Nqobani Sithole and Doug Coltart made an application to have his evidence in-chief expunged from the record arguing that it was based on hearsay not first-hand information.

However, prosecutor Mr Tafara Chirambira challenged them saying it was upon the court to disregard which part of Masimirembwa’s evidence can be regarded as inadmissible hence trial should continue.

Masimirembwa went on to submit evidence before the court of ZANU PF 2017 and 2019 registers for Hatcliffe district to prove that Musengezi was not in the party cell register.

Musengezi’s counsel also objected to the tendering of the documents as an exhibit contending that he was not the author of these documents neither was he the custodian of said documents.

Mr Chirambira said Masimirembwa was testifying in his capacity as the representative of the party hence he qualified to tender such  documents.

Magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda had to adjourn briefly to assess the submissions and make a ruling on whether the cell registers could be tendered as exhibits before the court.

She ruled that the said documents were of public nature and have been made part of the record hence trial should continue.

Masimirembwa also told the court that Musengezi’s name still did not appear in cell registers for the year 2020.

“The accused name does not appear in Zanu PF 2020 cell registers and neither do we have a record of him applying to become a member of Zanu PF in 2020.

“In 2023, we again as Zanu PF carried out cell registration exercise through the country including Hatcliffe again the accused name does not appear anywhere in Harare province current cell registers indicating that he is not a member of the party,” he said.

Masimirembwa told the court during cross examination that investigations to look into Musengezi’s records was as a result of his application at the High Court challenging how President Mnangagwa ascended to power.

“He challenged the President on how he ascended into power. I read the article in the newspapers and was engaged by the Zanu PF team to check who this person was.

“This is because all party members are guided by the ZANU PF constitution and if anyone has grievances within the party there is internal grievances procedure to be followed and that was never done,” he said.

Musengezi’s lawyers then tried to disregard Masimirembwa’s evidence stating that there was no document before the court containing a resolution that he was assigned to represent the party in this matter.

Masimirembwa reinforced that automatically by his position as chairman he was entitled to represent the party and if need be to tender a resolution from the party it could be tendered.

The cross examination is expected to continue on June 13. Herald


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