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‘CIO operative’ in court drama

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Harare provincial magistrate, Kudakwashe Jarabini, yesterday ordered the star witness in the trial of University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and International Socialist Organisation (ISO) general-co-ordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai, Jonathan Shoko and his five alleged accomplices, to provide his own photographs to enable the court to compare the images with those submitted in court.

This was after Shoko questioned old photographs of him produced in court and later refused to have fresh ones taken.

The order was at the request of Gwisai’s lawyer, Aleck Muchadehama, who argued Shoko never attended the ISO meeting where Gwisai and his colleagues are alleged to have hatched a plot to topple the government.

In a bid to unmask Shoko’s identity, Muchadehama left the court in stitches when he indicated to Shoko his schoolmates at St Faith Mission in Rusape, referred to him as “Pinocchio” (a popular cartoon character), because of his nose.

Muchadehama sought to have Chitiyo photographed in court for his image to be used in comparison with exhibits after he had told the court he lost both his force and national identity cards, but the lawyer’s efforts were thwarted by prosecutor Michael Reza, who opposed the application.

The defence further indicated Shoko’s real name was Rodwell Chitiyo, employed not as a police officer, but a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative.

Muchadehama said Shoko allegedly attended the MDC-T 12th anniversary on September 9 at Monomotapa Hotel where he masqueraded as a journalist and presented a Press card with the name Rodwell Chitiyo and had photographs taken.

However, Chitiyo disputed the assertions saying he never attended the anniversary and said it was possible the alleged photos had been doctored to suit the defence case.

Muchadehama grilled Shoko on the witness stand in a bid to prove he was Chitiyo, and a former student at St Faith Mission in Rusape who appears in a school group photo, but Shoko denied the images depicted him.

Gwisai and his colleagues are facing a charge of attempting to topple the unity government in February this year. The trial continues tomorrow.
Edmore Nyazamba and Reza are prosecuting.

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