HomeLocal NewsPolitical violence witnesses fail to turn up in court

Political violence witnesses fail to turn up in court


LUPANE — Three witnesses who were expected to testify against nine MDC-T activists who allegedly assaulted eight Zanu PF activists in the run-up to the June 27, 2008 presidential runoff failed to turn up in court on Tuesday amid revelations they had all relocated from Holomoka village where they were staying  during the violent skirmishes.Report by Silas Nkala, Staff Reporter

Catharine Ngwenya, Jonah Ndlovu, Julia Ndlovu and Abraham Sibanda, all Zanu PF activists, were expected to testify on Tuesday when the MDC-T activists appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba, but only Sibanda  pitched up.

On Tuesday, the State established the other three witnesses no longer stayed in the Holomoka area in Lupane and the police were still to locate them.

The case was remanded to October 23 for continuation of trial.
One of the alleged victims, Abraham Sibanda (namesake of one of the accused) identified Karat Tshuma and Thulani as his assailants.

“I saw Karat Tshuma whom I know from a  long time  ago.  When I greeted him he said: ‘Why do you greet me? You people are always beating us.’ I also positively identified accused number seven (Thulani) though I did not know his name, but he was there. He is the one who knocked me down with a knobkerrie,”  Sibanda said.

A week ago, the other alleged four victims, Chelesile Ndlovu, Austin Moyo, Aleck Moyo and Sithembile Ndlovu, testified in court.

They said the MDC-T activists raided them at 5pm while they were drinking beer at a homestead and forced them to chant MDC-T slogans.

The four witnesses claimed to have identified Norman Sibanda and Thulani Sibanda during the violence.

Medical reports were produced in court stating that the alleged victims  sustained moderate injuries due to attack with blunt objects.

The court heard that between June 22 and 23 in 2008, the nine MDC-T activists went to Holomoka village where they allegedly raided eight Zanu PF activists, Catharine Ngwenya, Austin Moyo, Jonah Ndlovu, Abraham Sibanda, Sithembile Ndlovu, Sichelesile Ndlovu, Aleck Moyo and Julia Ndlovu, at their homes.

They allegedly assaulted them with stones, knobkerries, axes, iron rods and logs.

The villagers were taken to hospital following the alleged assault and  a report made to the police leading  to the arrest of the eight.
Sanders Sibanda is prosecuting.


The accused deny charges

THE nine MDC-T activists, Norman Sibanda (50), Abraham Sibanda (53), Orchard Ndlovu (44), Mane Patrick Ncube (47), Melusi Ncube (40), Dokotela Sibanda (58), Thulani Sibanda (34), Robert Karat Tshuma (60), and Victor Nyoni (40), are denying the charges of political violence.

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

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