BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
LAWYERS representing Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure have accused the State of hiding an inquest report which cleared him of involvement in the death of Roy Issa in 2016.
Masaraure yesterday appeared before magistrate Yeukai Dzuda facing a murder charge following the death of Issa, who plunged to his death from the seventh floor of a Harare hotel.
Masaraure’s lawyer Douglas Coltart told Dzuda that there was a plot to frame his client.
“The manner in which this case has been handled is something like a witch hunt. The police conducted themselves in a way like on a mission to frame the accused person in the absence of evidence,” Coltart said.
“The police went on to detain one Samantha Lauti and forced her to incriminate the accused. The police tried to come up with a narrative to specifically pin the accused person.”
Coltart said the State had also failed to advise the court that the matter went through an inquest which exonerated his client.
“They (State) did not tell the court that there was an inquest on those who were present that found that there was no foul play. We are being denied access to that inquest report. It appears the record is missing,” he said.
Coltart accused the State of trying to doctor the inquest report.
“The State has sought to bury the inquest report and possibly to doctor what appears in that inquest report and try to fit in the facts to the accused case. This matter was unprocedurally taken away from CID Homicide, where murder cases are ordinarily handled, but it was given to the Law and Order section of the police has no business in investigating homicide cases. This case has been politicised rather than seeking the truth of the matter.”
He said they would apply for bail at the High Court.
Allegations are that on June 1, 2016, at around 10pm, Masaraure and his accomplices, still at large, who were in the company of the now-deceased met at Quill Club, Ambassador Hotel, where they were drinking beer.
It is alleged they left the place 30 minutes later and went to Cresta Jameson Hotel, where Issa met his death.
But the State claims that the deceased was assaulted with unknown weapons along Park Street adjacent to Jameson Hotel and in order to conceal the offence, accuses Masaraure of misrepresenting facts that the deceased jumped off through the window, resulting in his death.
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