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Phone call records expose State

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
PHONE call records from Econet Zimbabwe have exposed possible State involvement in the abduction of two Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists in May 2020.

A State witness, who is a security officer at Econet Zimbabwe, Godfrey Mangezi, told chief magistrate Faith Mushure yesterday that records show that calls to the CCC activists Joannah Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri were made when they were at Harare Central Police Station from where they say they were abducted by State security agents.

But the State denies that the two were in police custody at the time of their abduction.

Mangezi was responding to questions on Mamombe and Chimbiri’s call history on the day they were reportedly abducted.

Mamombe and Chimbiri are facing charges of faking their abductions.

While leading evidence for the State, Mangezi said the phone numbers that were provided to them by the police for investigations were registered in the name of the accused persons on EcoCash.

He said the accused persons’ mobile phones were active on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook on May 13, 2020 when they were allegedly abducted.

“The calls from 0772 … (Chimbiri) to 0773 … (Mamombe) were once made at the Harare charge office,” Mangezi said, adding that there was no record of calls from May 14, 2020 as the subscribers were not available.

Another witness, Evatte Chizama, a former Chicken Inn shift manager at Belgravia, told the court while leading evidence from prosecutor Michael Reza that she saw the accused persons ordering food from their vehicle, a Mercedes Benz, at the outlet.

The witness said one of the accused persons was wearing a face mask, an averment which differed with her previous statement to police that the accused persons all wore face masks.

“You did not properly see these ladies because they had face masks?” the activists’ lawyer Alec Muchadehama asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

In her statement to police, Chizama said the accused persons were light in complexion, but in court, she said they were dark in complexion.

The chief magistrate postponed the matter to June 21.

  • Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1

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