The State yesterday suffered yet another blow when the sixth witness in the treason trial of three Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) leaders, a policewoman, told the court that she did not read what was written on the fliers and a calendar that she recovered from the home of one of the accused, John Gazi.
Testifying at the Bulawayo High Court before Justice Nicholas Ndou sitting with assessors Fanuel Damba and Elliot Nyoni, Sergeant Locadia Matoka said as police officers, they were just instructed to go and arrest Gazi is connection with the distribution of fliers allegedly bearing treasonous messages.
Gazi is being charged with treason alongside Paul Siwela and Charles Thomas but the three are denying the charges.
Matoka was cross-examined by Gazi’s lawyer Advocate Sabelo Sibanda yesterday.
Matoka told the court that on March 3 last year, she was on duty and was instructed by the officer in charge to accompany a police detective, Sergeant Patrice Nyanhete from the Law and Order section, to Gazi’s home where they were to arrest him in connection with the distribution of fliers.
The fliers had allegedly been distributed by Thomas in Bulawayo’s Entumbane suburb.
Matoka said on arrival at Gazi’s home, they found 10 MLF fliers on a lounge suite in the living room. She said they also found an MLF calendar and a compact disc which allegedly contained information on Gukurahundi.
She said they then arrested Gazi and took him to the city centre where they searched for more material but to no avail.
Matoka said they then took Gazi to the police station where they left him with the officer in charge together with all the exhibits they had found.
When asked by Sibanda what was inscribed on the fliers, Matoka said: “I did not read what was written on them. I was just told by Sergeant Nyanhete what was written on them.”
She told the court that they were instructed to go and find anything at Gazi’s home which would link him to the distribution of the fliers.
Matoka also said she was told by Nyanhete that Thomas had volunteered information that Gazi was linked to the distribution of fliers but did not herself talk to Thomas and that all the information she gave was coming from the officer in charge.
She could not say if the charges against Gazi and others (to incite citizens to revolt against the government) emanated from what was written on the fliers Matoka said she never saw Gazi distributing fliers, as was being alleged.
Five witnesses, including the then Officer Commanding Law and Order in Bulawayo, Superintendent Andrew Mupungu, who has since been transferred to Harare, are still to testify.