BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE CITIZENS Coalition for Change activists Joanah Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri, who are accused of faking their abductions, have rejected the submission of a video footage as evidence in their trial.
The State is seeking to submit the footage through a police officer, Richard Muvhuro Mhlanga, a detective chief inspector at the Criminal Investigations Department Cyber laboratory.
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The CCTV footage is from three different locations Chicken Inn, Bon Marche and Zuva service stations in Harare.
The duo argued that it could be doctored images when they appeared before Harare magistrate Faith Mushure yesterday.
Through their lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Jeremiah Bhamu, the duo said Mhlanga was incompetent to submit the said CCTV footage because he was not the one who recorded it.
Mhlanga said the flash disc that he used was not the one brought before the court, adding that the one with the recordings was at the police CID laboratories.
Mushure allowed the court to adjourn to enable Mhlanga to collect the correct flash disk.
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When he returned, Mhlanga downloaded the videos.
“l analysed the video footage because the investigating officer wanted assistance in identifying a motor vehicle that was said to be of interest to him,” Mhlanga said.
“He wanted us to identify the motor vehicle using the number plates, and it was a Mercedes Benz.”
Muchadehama objected to the court playing the video, but Mushure said it must be played for confirmation.
Mhlanga then said he could not confirm whether it was the correct flash disk because other police officers took over the case after he was admitted in hospital for two months.
Muchadehama said the original flash disc was blank, adding that now the accused do not know whether the images were the same.
Mhlanga had claimed that he got the video footage from one Lorraine Munyavi at Chicken Inn, Tinashe Chiwuru from Zuva service station and Ophius Nyika from Bon Marche.
Muchadehama argued that several flash disks circulated, which could have been doctored.
“This particular witness is not competent to produce it,” Muchadehama said.
The matter was postponed to July 5 for the ruling.
Mamombe, Chimbiri and Netsai Murova were allegedly abducted by suspected State security agents, tortured and later dumped in rural Bindura after some days.
Follow Desmond on Twitter@DChingarande1