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More Contradictions in the Glenview 29 Trial

Contradictions once again ruled the Glenview 29 trial yesterday the 28th of June 2012 as the 8th State witness Constable Magonagona testified before the Court. The Glenview 29 are charged with the murder of Inspector Petros Mutedza which has resulted in some of them spending close to a year in remand and on several occasions have been denied bail. To add salt to the injury State Prosecuter Nyazamba has advocated for a delay in the trial by suggesting a one week break which angered both the accused and their families. Constable Magonagona's testimony proved to be full of contradictions as compared to his initial statement that he gave on the 30th of May 2011 a day after the murder incident.

The past three weeks have seen state witnesses in the Glenview trial giving contradicting and confusing statements. All the witnesses have complained about the manner in which their statements were recorded soon after the death of Inspector Petros Mutedza arguing that some information was missing while some was interpreted wrongly. Constable Magonagona yesterday testified that bottles had been thrown at him inside the Munyarari bar, and when asked by the defence team why the information was not in his statement Magonagona looked puzzled and could only say that the information had been omitted.

In his initial statement Constable Magonagona noted that he had hid outside the cashier's office inside the bar running away from 'rowdy MDC activists'. However the defence team provided photos which proved that there was no hiding place outside the bar cashier's office. Magonagona then attributed his contradicting statements to a typing error in the statement. This however proves that the state witnesses' statements and testimonies are not accurate and are meant to falsely accuse the Glenview 29 of murder.

Constable Magonagona further told the Court that he made his statement using the Shona language whilst a police officer from the law and order was writing in English hence the reason why some of his statements were inconsistent. This is however questionable because when asked by the defence team whether there were disturbances when the police arrived at Munyarari bar, Magonagona answered yes in agreement but when further quizzed he said that there were no disturbances since there were ordinary people sitting in front of the bar. This among other statements proves that the state witness had rehearsed his statement to ensure the conviction of the Glenview 29.

The trial so far has been progressing at a slow pace with only 8 witnesses out of a total of 21 taking the stand in the past three weeks. The Judge on the other hand has denied the Glenview 29 bail and his Judgement on the Application for Leave is yet to be reviewed.


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