State Witnesses continue to give contradicting statements in the Glenview 29 Trial

The High Court trial in which 29 MDC-T members are facing   charges of murdering a police officer Petros Mutedza and causing public violence in Glen View, Harare in May last year continued on  Wednesday the 13th of June 2012 with the fifth state witness Constable Kudakwashe Magutarima testifying before the Court.

Constable Magutarima in his testimony gave contradicting statements different from what was recorded in the initial police report soon after the arrest of the accused. Magutarima stated that of the 29 accused persons, he could not identify anyone who was involved in Petros Mutedza's murder on the day in question. Magutarima told a totally different story from the one given by his counterpart Constable Solomon Mushaninga who testified on Friday the 8th of June 2012. Mushaninga testified that when the police arrived at the scene of the murder there were between 80 to 100 MDC-T activists who were wearing red and white MDC t-shirts. On the contrary, Magutarima said when they arrived at the murder scene, the area was infested with vendors and ordinary members of the public who were going about their day to day business. He further stated that there were only close to 20 MDC-T activists who were wearing red t-shirts.

Initially, in his statement during cross examination in May last year Magutarima had highlighted that on the day in question he saw one named Constable Gona hiding behind a door inside Munyarari bar but to the astonishment of the court today denied having seen Constable Gona anywhere near the scene.  He went on to say it was Constable Gona who coerced him into lying that he had seen him hiding behind the door.

The two counterparts gave contradicting statements and yet on the day of the murder they were together.The contradicting testimonies bear proof that the case is based on 'hearsay' rather than admissible evidence and further proves that the State witnesses have no solid evidence that warrants conviction of the Glenview 29. This also shows that this case is largely political and is meant to intimidate any dissenting voices and other pro-democracy activists.

The continued refusal by the courts to grant the Glen View 29 bail is also a clear testimony that the judiciary continues to be partisan. There is now suspicion among progressive forces that there is an invisible hand within the chambers that continue to run the day to day proceedings.

The trial continues on the 14th of June with the sixth state witness taking the stand at 1000hrs at the High Court.

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