The trial of University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and International Socialist Organisation (ISO) general-co-ordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai and his five alleged accomplices on a charge of attempting to topple the government, continued yesterday with the defence unmasking the identity of the State’s key witness, Jonathan Shoko.
The defence indicated Shoko’s real name was Rodwell Chitiyo, employed not as a police officer, but a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
The activists’ lawyer Aleck Muchadehama grilled Shoko on the witness stand in a bid to prove he was Chitiyo, according to information obtained from his former schools and Midlands State University where he studied.
Shoko earlier denied he ever went to high school, but Muchadehama produced a group school photograph showing Shoko and his schoolmates while at St Faith Mission in Rusape, but Shoko denied the images depicted him.
“The features of a person on this photo are like mine, but the picture is not mine,” he answered drawing laughter from the public gallery. Shoko was also shown three photographs showing a clear image of him, but he insisted it was not him.
“I do not recognise the photos although someone on them looks like me,” he said this time drawing laughter from court officials.
The defence further indicated to the court that Shoko was born at Mutare Medical Centre and his real father was Tapera Chitiyo and his mother, Mavis Mhondiwa.
Copies of his birth certificate, national identity card and passport all indicated he was born on August 13 1982, but Shoko was adamant that although the information was consistent with his identity it did not relate to him. Muchadehama sought to establish Shoko’s identity taking into account his evidence indicating that he sneaked into the ISO meeting in February this year.
“I want to also establish whether he also did not sneak into this court, because the witness from his own admission said he sneaked into the meeting,” Muchadehama said, again drawing laughter from members of the public.
Harare provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini presided over the case while Gwisai, Hopewell Gumbo, Antonater Choto, Welcome Zimuto, Edson Chakuma and Tatenda Mombeyarara were represented by Muchadehama.
The State was represented by Edmore Nyazamba and the matter was postponed to November 29.