Chinhoyi magistrate Felix Mawadze acquitted former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman and Hurungwe West independent candidate Temba Mliswa on theft and possession of firearms charges at the close of State case.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Mawadze said there was “no evidence led in court to warrant prosecution” as the State relied more on the evidence of an accomplice, Steadfine Mashiri, who later made an about turn in the witness box, which is not permissible at law.
Mliswa was facing two charges of theft and possession of six firearms recovered at his Spring Farm near Karoi.
It was the State case that sometime in September 2007, Mliswa went to Somerhill Farm in Mhangura, forcibly took the firearms from a Myles Walter Hall and kept them at his Spring Farm in the gym hall. Hall reported the case at Mhangura Police Station, but there were no leads to the whereabouts of the firearms, prompting the police to close the docket.
On January 15 this year after a tip off, the police went to Spring Farm led by Mashiri and recovered the firearms hidden in the fowl run. But Mawadze said the court could not rely on Mashiri’s evidence.
“Mashiri’s is an accomplice and his evidence cannot be used to implicate the accused,” concluded Mawadze.
Mliswa welcomed the judgment saying it showed that the justice delivery system was still intact. But he took a swipe at the police for allegedly being used by politicians. “It’s quite pleasing that we still have the judiciary intact, but I am disappointed by the continuous malicious prosecution by the State,” Mliswa said.
Mliswa said the judgment clearly showed that it was a case of personal vendetta and political persecution.