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Lawyer cries foul over ‘stalled’ trial


Reginald Chidawanyika, the lawyer representing two MDC-T MPs Roger Tazviona (Zhombe) and Costin Muguti (Gokwe-Kabuyuni) facing charges of threatening Chief Samuel Samambwa of Zhombe with unspecified action, has lashed out at the State for stalling the trial of his clients after the matter was deferred for the sixth time on Thursday.

The court heard the trial of MPs and their six supporters, who spent more than a month in remand prison, could not proceed because there was no DVD player to view the footage of the alleged crime.

“We are committed to see this trial going through, this is why we asked the court to ensure the State is ready for trial come August 3, but if they are not, then we might be left with no option but to refuse further remand,” said Chidawanyika. The trial is now expected to start on August 3 under provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe.

The MPs and six others were arrested in early February but spent a month in remand on allegations they threatened Chief Samambwa with unspecified action over reports the latter had confiscated MDC-T party regalia and cards.

They also alleged the traditional leader was targeting and victimising their supporters and forcing them to join Zanu PF.

Since March, the trial has failed to proceed for various reasons, including the traditional leader’s failure to attend court.

On three occasions, Chief Samambwa stalled the trial after twice missing the only bus from his area, and on another occasion he was said to have been looking for a person who had gone missing.

The State has also failed to provide the defence team with video-playing devices for footage of what transpired at the chief’s homestead on January 29, the day the crime was allegedly committed to be viewed.

Chidawanyika on Thursday said the State had again failed to set up the equipment while at the same time Chief Samambwa had not presented himself in court.

Asiyatu Mararanje appeared for the State.

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