MLF treason trial next month

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The treason trial of three Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) leaders, Paul Siwela, Charles Thomas and former party member John Gazi will start on February 7 at the Bulawayo High Court.

According to a criminal cause list for the High Court for the first term of the 2012 legal year released yesterday, the trio’s trial is expected to take three days ending on February 10.

The State has lined up 11 witnesses to testify in the case. These include Bulawayo commander for police’s Law and Order section, Superintendent Andrew Mupungu, who is the investigating officer.

Siwela, Gazi and Thomas have been on remand for the past 11 months.

Meanwhile, the trio was on Friday further remanded to January 19.

They were again not asked to plead to treason charges when they briefly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Sophie Matimba.

They are out of custody on $2 000 bail each, granted by High Court judge Justice Nicholas Ndou on March 24, accompanied by stringent conditions.

They are facing charges of trying to topple the government of President Robert
Mugabe.

It is alleged they distributed flyers urging the public and security forces to turn against the government and join Mthwakazi Republic, a state which they want established after secession from the rest of the country.

The trio is being represented by Sindiso Mazibisa, Matshobana Ncube, Kucaca Phulu, Robert Ndlovu led by Advocate Lucas Nkomo while Martha Cheda represents the State.