THREE of the seven MDC-T officials, accused of killing Police Inspector Petros Mutedza during skirmishes in Glen View five years ago, were yesterday convicted of murder with actual intent, while the fourth suspect was convicted of public violence.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Supreme Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, acquitted three other suspects after making a determination that there was no evidence linking the trio to the commission of the offence.
MDC-T councillor, Tungamirai Madzokere, Yvonne Musarurwa, Lazarus Maengahama and Phineas Nhatarikwa were convicted, while MDC-T organising secretary Paul Rukanda, Last Maengahama and Edwin Mhingiri were found not guilty and acquitted.
Madzokere, Musarurwa and Lazarus Maengahama were convicted of murder with actual intent, while Nhatarikwa was convicted of public violence. They were all remanded in custody to Thursday for mitigation and sentence.
In his judgment, Justice Bhunu said the court had properly and carefully considered and applied the doctrine of common purpose in convicting the suspects.
The judge said it was not in dispute that Mutedza was killed by some MDC-T activists, who had defied police orders to disperse, after convening an unsanctioned gathering, while celebrating MDC-T T-shirt visibility day on May 29, 2011.
“There is overwhelming evidence that the deceased was struck by a stone that was thrown from a group of MDC-T political party members, who were resisting police orders to disperse. Whoever threw the stone did it in solidarity with the MDC-T members and had the intention to kill the police officer,” Justice Bhunu said.
The judge further said Mutedza was stoned to death just after the MDC-T activists had chanted slogans encouraging each other to attack and kill police officers.
The court heard on the day in question, MDC-T members gathered at Glen View 4 shopping centre, where they partied and danced while celebrating T-shirt visibility day, but the gathering was not sanctioned by police.
Mutedza was then instructed to go and order the MDC-T members to disperse. When he got there in the company of other police officers, the activists agreed to move away, but later convened in Glen View 3, where commotion erupted, leading to the untimely death of the police officer who was struck by a stone.
The convicts are being represented by human rights lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa, Gift Mtisi and Charles Kwaramba, while the State is represented by Edmore Nyazamba.