The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the matter where two convicted opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members are appealing against both conviction and sentence.
Last Maengahama and Tungamirirai Madzokere were convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail in September 2016 for the murder of Zimbabwe Republic Police Inspector Petros Mutedzi in Harare’s Glen View area back in 2012.
According to the MDC, the two are appealing against the both conviction and sentence on the basis that evidence from eye witnesses were contradicting.
“The court relied on evidence of “eye witnesses” who contradicted each other. There was a fabrication and a predetermined effort to investigate only MDC members. The conclusion reached by the High Court to convict was based on the doctrine of common purpose, which was taken away by the Criminal Codification and Reform Act
“The Court still placed at the crime scene people with valid alibis. The Court somehow convicts individuals based on account of one witness when the rest of the witnesses confessed that the accused were on the other side of the road. That no witness specifically identifies the appellants throwing stones yet the Court makes a strange finding that they were seen committing the crime” read a statement from the MDC communications
Meanwhile MDC secretary for Justice and Legal affairs Innocent Gonese said it was persecution of the highest order.
“This was persecution of the highest order and it was the police who were responsible for the mayhem that ensued after unjustifiably interfering with the rights of people who were peacefully gathered at Glen View 3 shopping centre.
“While the majority were eventually freed when charges were either dropped before the trial and others at the close of the State case or at the conclusion of the trial, the duo have suffered the brunt of State repression after a political judgment bereft of legal logic was delivered. As the MDC we were delighted by the brilliant articulation of the issues by their lawyers and in our view, the State had no answers” said Gonese
Gonese said apart from misdirecting itself on factual issues in finding corroboration where there were contradictions, the Court based the Conviction on the doctrine of common purpose which has not found its way into the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
“Our prayer is that the Court will do the right thing and uphold the appeal and find all the Appellants not guilt. We trust that this will be sooner rather than later, Justice delayed is Justice denied” he added