BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A HARARE magistrate has dismissed an application for removal from remand filed by 10 vendors, who were brutalised by the police while in custody, resulting in the death of their colleague, Hilton Tamangani in October last year.
The vendors, who were charged with assaulting a peace officer, had filed an application to be removed from remand, saying the State had failed to provide them with a trial date within a reasonable period.
But presiding magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa dismissed their application, saying there was no inordinate delay by the State to provide them with a trial date as the prosecution had provided the court with details of the progress of the investigations.
“There has not been an inordinate delay in prosecuting the matter. There has clearly been progress in the matter and what is just needed now are minor clarifications,” Mugwagwa said. However, the police are yet to furnish the court with a written report on the death of Tamangani in police custody.
On the last remand date, the State had indicated that the police were delaying to bring the report so that an inquest could be carried out.
Tamangani was arrested together with Evans Chinyanga (39), Tichaona Mazia (22), Petros Kayesa (44), Adoration Tafadzwa Madziwa (23), Lovemore Chitengo (42), Robson Mutseta (31), Hillary Nyawasha (29), Wambo Denford (41), Blessing Chirodza (41) and David Tawanda Tekere (35).
They were accused of assaulting a law enforcement agent and fleeing into the basement of a city building from where several police helmets were allegedly recovered.
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The vendors were represented by Marufu Mandevere from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.