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AG’s office to revisit Mwale murder case

Clemence Manyukwe



ATTORNEY-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele has made an undertaking to revisit the case in which CIO operative, Joseph Mwale, is alleged to have led a gr

oup of Zanu PF supporters who murdered two aides of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the run-up to the 2000 general election.


The AG confirmed receipt of a letter from Tsvangirai requesting Mwale’s prosecution.


In an interview on Wednesday, Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Sheila Jarvis, said Gula-Ndebele in a letter dated April 21 said “he had noted the contents of our letter and undertook to revert to us as soon as he is able to”.


Jarvis said four days later they received a letter from an officer in the AG’s office promising to respond to Tsvangirai’s letter.


The lawyer said she had a conversation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Loice Matanda-Moyo, the same day as part of preparations by the AG’s office to respond to Tsvangirai’s requests.


Mwale is accused of being the ringleader of a group of Zanu PF supporters accused of murdering the opposition leader’s aides in the run up to the 2000 poll.


Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika were burnt to death at Murambinda growth point while campaigning for Tsvangirai in Buhera North, later won by Zanu PF’s Kenneth Manyonda.


Last year three other accused persons in the case, Webster Gwama, Bernard Makuwe and Morris Cainos (alias Kitsiyatota), were indicted on two counts of murder but their trial has not started.


In the letter to the AG concerning the case, Tsvangirai warned against the dangers of trying Mwale and the other three accused persons separately.


The letter said if there was a split trial the AG “risks being seen as bringing a token prosecution calculated to confer future impunity by facilitating acquittals rather than ensure justice”.


l In another case involving MDC activists, two Zanu PF supporters on Wednesday appeared in the High Court facing allegations of murdering an MDC supporter in Muzarabani five years ago.


Chrispen Mutandwa, Michael Mandava and another accused person still on the run, Itai Chiname, are accused of fatally assaulting Robson Ticharima after fracturing his skull in March 2001.


According to the state outline, Ticharima went to Hoya business centre on March 4 wearing a T-shirt bearing the MDC logo.


He had an argument with the three Zanu PF supporters who fatally assaulted him with logs and iron bars.


High Court judge Tedious Karwi granted Mutandwa and Mandava $2 million bail each.


In granting them bail, Karwi ordered the two not to interfere with a certain state witness and to report twice a week at their nearest police stations. Contacting the witness would see them being “immediately arrested”, the judge said.


Justice Karwi also postponed the case to a date within the current High Court session to be decided by the state.


The postponement was meant to facilitate the location of certain witnesses as well as Chiname.

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