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MDC-T activists acquitted


LUPANE — Five of the nine MDC-T activists accused of assaulting Zanu PF activists in the run up to June 27, 2008 presidential run-off were on Thursday found not guilty and acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Report by Silas Nkala

The remaining four were put on defence when the State closed its case after the witnesses identified them as part of the group that participated in the political violence.

On Thursday, Lupane magistrate, Takudzwa Gwazemba acquitted Abraham Sibanda (53), Orchard Ndlovu (44), Melusi Ncube (40), Dokotela Sibanda (58) and Victor Nyoni (40), due to lack of evidence after the witnesses exonerated them in their evidence.

However, the other activists Norman Sibanda (50), Mane
Patrick Ncube (47), Thulani Sibanda (34) and Robert Karat Tshuma (60) who were identified by the witnesses as having participated in the violence, were put on their defence.

The case was remanded to October 31 when they will present their defence evidence. They are all out of custody on free bail.
Eleven witnesses had testified in the case at the close of the State case and identified the four accused person.

On Tuesday the last three Zanu PF activists, Sharon Ngwenya, Phionah Nyoni, and Siphokuhle Ncube testified against the suspects.

A week ago, other alleged victims, Chelesile Ndlovu, Austin Moyo, Aleck Moyo, Sithembile Ndlovu, Catharine Ngwenya, Jonah Ndlovu, Julia Ndlovu, and Abraham Sibanda testified.

The MDC-T activists are accused of attacking Zanu PF members for supporting the former liberation party in an MDC-T stronghold.

The court heard that between June 22 and 23 in 2008, the nine MDC-T activists went to Holomoka village in Lupane where they allegedly raided Zanu PF activists at their homes and fields and assaulted them with stones, knobkerries, axes, iron rods and logs.

The alleged victims were taken to hospital following the assault and a report was made to the police leading to the nine’s arrest.
Sanders Sibanda is prosecuting.

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