A Mutare magistrate has dismissed the matter in which senior Zanu PF officials, including war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba, were trading accusations of witchcraft in an effort to represent the former ruling party in the forth-coming parliamentary elections.
Magistrate Aniah Ndiraya acquitted former Zanu PF Buhera District co-ordinating committee chairperson Zvenyika Machokoto and his wife Judith Modzeri saying the State had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt that there was conspiracy to engage in witchcraft.
The pair was facing charges of conspiring to engage in practices commonly associated with witchcraft as defined in Section 98(1) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Allegations were that they approached Jimmy Motsi, the man who made headlines recently after he led the exhumation of fallen heroes in Rushinga, to kill through mysterious ways five top Zanu PF officials from Buhera. The two allegedly offered Motsi
Machokoto was alleged to have described Chinotimba, former Agriculture minister Kumbirai Kangai, Buhera North MP William Mutomba and other party officials Tapiwa Zengeya and Kenneth Mwanditurira, as stumbling blocks in his political ambitions.
He reportedly hired Motsi to kill the five for him to clinch a parliamentary nomination for Zanu PF.
However, it emerged through trial the ceremony in question was not actually a ritual service commonly associated with witchcraft, but a Christian gathering.
At the close of the State’s case Machokoto’s lawyer applied for discharge, arguing there was no evidence to link his clients to witchcraft. In his testimony during trial Motsi admitted the ceremony which was set to invoke a bad spell on the five was actually a prayer session, but with the intention to kill the five.
In putting the drama-filled trial to rest, Ndiraya said there was no evidence to link the ceremony to practices commonly associated with witchcraft and concluded the State failed to lay a prima facie case against the two.