CCC activists’ application for discharge dismissed

Joana Mamombe

CHIEF magistrate Faith Mushure has dismissed an application for discharge filed by Citizens Coalition for Change members Joanah Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri who are being accused of spreading falsehoods to tarnish the country’s image after they were reportedly kidnapped and dumped in rural Bindura.

The duo had filed for discharge at the close of the State case in which 10 State witnesses testified.

In dismissing their application, Mushure said the State had proved essential elements of the charge against the accused.

Mushure said when the case has no evidence, the court can discharge the accused, but in this case the State's evidence proves a case against the accused persons.

"The accused communicated with their friends, party colleagues and their lawyer after the incident. From the evidence, a statement was made that they were kidnapped. They told Detective Chief Inspector Chafa that they were kidnapped," Mushure said.

"There is evidence that the accused made statements through Chafa that they were taken to Muchapondwa  business centre in Bindura where they were tortured. It cannot be said all evidence by the State can be discredited, but the evidence is there. The uploads of kidnapping stories are there."

Mushure added that the accused needed to answer to some questionable facts and allegations that were raised through their defence.

The trial had been dramatic with the evidence of videos used in the case being discredited by the defence.

Some of the video footage tendered as evidence was not clear.

There were also no direct pictures of Mamombe and Chimbiri. One of the video footages produced in court shows a woman who is said to have seen the accused persons at Chicken Inn, Belgravia.

According to the State, the accused are faking their abduction to tarnish the image of the country. But while testifying in court, police officers admitted that when they found the accused persons in Muchapondwa village they were in a terrible state saying they were failing to walk properly due to torture.

The accused persons were later referred to a private hospital in Waterfalls, Harare, for medical examination.

Their medical reports also indicated that they were tortured and were terrified after the ordeal.

The matter was postponed to September 15 for continuation of trial.

Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1


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