Police leaked statements: MDC trio


THREE MDC Alliance officials charged with faking abduction have denied publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State and instead, accused the law enforcement agency of leaking their recorded statements to the media.


The three suspects namely; Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, made the remarks through their lawyer Aleck Muchadehama yesterday when they appeared before High Court judge Justice Moses Foroma seeking bail.

The three were remanded in custody by a Harare magistrate a fortnight ago.

State alleges that the trio made headlines aimed at tarnishing the image of the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government and of stage-managing abduction on May 13, 2020 following a failed demonstration in Warren Park, Harare.

However, the State alleges that Mamombe and her accomplices were instead captured on CCTV at Belgravia Shopping Centre in Harare at the time they are alleging to have been in the custody of suspected State agents at an unknown place. The State also alleges the trio was never abducted.
But, in his submission, Muchadehama said there was never a time when his clients caused the publication of their abduction except that they informed their relatives that they had been arrested by police.

“If there was any publication, then it was the police and not the appellants (Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova)…” Muchadehama said.

He said the publication of the three’s abduction only came through the police.
“…. The appellants cannot be punished for what was in the media or said by foreign missions because it did not come from them…”

During the hearing, Muchadehama was put to task by Justice Foroma to explain why the defence failed to ask the investigation officer about the existence of the CCTV footage and order its submission as evidence.

The judge also asked Muchadehama why he had not availed documentary proof that his clients were sexually molested during the time they allege they were abducted.
In response, he said the defence team had the evidence although it was not part of the court record.

In her submissions prosecutor Wadzanai Badalane urged the court to throw out the appeal, arguing that the magistrate did not misdirect herself when she denied the three bail.
Judgment on the trio’s bail was reserved to Friday.