MPs trial fails to take off again

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The trial of two MDC-T MPs and six others accused of threatening a traditional leader with violence failed to take off for the third time in two months on Wednesday.

This was after the state failed to provide a DVD and television set which had been requested by the defence.

MPs Roger Tazviona (Zhombe) and Costin Muguti (Gokwe-Kabuyuni) and six other MDC-T activists briefly appeared before Kwekwe provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe on Wednesday before their trial was moved to May 24, when the state is expected to provide the defence with equipment to play video footage as part of its evidence.

Defence lawyer Reginald Chidawanyika on March 2 requested the State to provide the defence with equipment that would enable them to play a video recording of events which took place at Chief Samambwa’s homestead on January 30 leading to the arrest of his clients.

The trial again failed to take off on March 23 when chief state witness Chief Samambwa of Zhombe failed to attend court.

At that time, the state said the traditional leader had failed to get transport from Zhombe where only one bus services the route and the trial was moved to April 20.

However, Chief Samambwa on Thursday attended court but the state failed to provide the equipment forcing Mahwe to postpone the matter.

The state alleges the eight accused persons stormed Chief Samambwa’s home on January 30, accusing him of inciting Zanu PF supporters to flush out perceived MDC-T supporters from his area.

They allegedly accused the traditional leader of confiscating MDC-T regalia from known MDC-T activists.

It is further alleged Tazviona, Muguti and others gave the chief a seven-day ultimatum to stop victimising MDC-T activists or risk unspecified action.