THE trial of 29 MDC-T activists accused of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza last year continued Monday at the High Court, with police Detective Chief Inspector Clever Ntini contradicting himself over the identity of the alleged eyewitnesses to the cop’s murder.
Report By Charles Laiton
In his testimony, Ntini had initially told High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu the MDC-T activists were witnessed committing the alleged murder by their own colleagues who are police informers, but made a U-turn and claimed the witnesses were plainclothes police officers at the scene.
The activists’ lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa pressured Ntini to divulge the identity of any witnesses to Mutedza’s murder, but he refused arguing he could only provide names of plainclothes officers who were at the scene when commotion broke out.
Mtetwa then asked Ntini to read out aloud a statement by one of the plainclothes officers, the late sergeant Chikura, whom he claimed was present when the MDC-T activists allegedly committed the offence. Chikura’s statement read: “I do not know what took place at Glen View 3 shopping centre. I was phoned by sergeant Muganhura stationed at ZRP Marimba PISI Section, who was asking me what happened at Glen View 3 shopping centre and I told him that I was not aware of the incident.”
At that juncture, chief law officer Edmore Nyazamba raised an objection, arguing Mtetwa could not refer to a statement by a deceased witness who could not attend court.
However, Justice Bhunu overruled his objection and allowed Mtetwa to make reference to the statement to test credibility.
Asked to comment on the late Chikura’s statement Ntini said: “I think there is a mix-up of issues by me because there were a lot of names involved in this matter that one really ends mixing them up.”
As the trial progressed, Mtetwa, who was assisted by Aleck Muchadehama, Gift Mtisi and Charles Kwaramba, accused Ntini of having arrested the 29 MDC-T activists using profiles which the police had kept long before Mutedza’s murder.
Mtetwa said the State’s docket had pictures of MDC activists taken long before the Glen View murder incident and police simply followed up on the said profiles and arrested innocent victims, an assertion Ntini denied. The trial continues today.