BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
LAWYERS representing MDC Alliance youth leader and Highfield West MP Happymore Chidziva, accused of inciting violence ahead of last year’s elections, on Monday applied for discharge at the close of the State case.
Chidziva, who appeared before Gweru provincial magistrate, Charity Maphosa, is facing charges of inciting violence after he allegedly threatened President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) with unspecified action at a campaign rally ahead of last year’s July 30 polls
In their submissions, Chidziva’s lawyers, Jeremiah Bamu and Brian Dube, indicated that they were making an application for discharge as the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against their client.
Maphosa said she would deliver ruling on the discharge application on February 11.
Allegations against Chidziva are that on July 22 last year, at a Mkoba rally in Gweru, he warned then Zanu PF presidential candidate, Mnangagwa and Zec of dire consequences if election results did not favour MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa eventually lost the polls to Mnangagwa and contested the results in the Constitutional Court before losing the court appeal.
In another matter, Bulawayo regional magistrate Sibongile Msipa-Marondedze yesterday postponed to March 4 the trial of Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya, Mashonaland West provincial administrator Cecilia Chitiyo and six other government officials accused of criminal abuse of office after ruling that the State had failed to provide all the necessary documents to the defence counsel for the trial to commence.
Msipa-Marondedze said the trial, which is now being heard under a special court, will run from March 4 to March 8.
She ordered the State to put its house in order and that no excuses should continue to hinder the beginning of trial.