Police exposed in Masarira, Dzamara insult trial

But, Chingwaru told the same court that all the five activists handed themselves to the police and volunteered to be taken to Harare Central Police Station.

Source: Police exposed in Masarira, Dzamara insult trial – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 24, 2017

TWO police officers involved in the arrest of pro-democracy activists Linda Masarira, Patson Dzamara and their three alleged accomplices, yesterday gave conflicting evidence on circumstances surrounding the arrests, further weakening the State’s case.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The five were arrested and charged with insulting police officers, but during cross-examination, detectives Masimba Masiyatengwa and Gift Chingwaru contradicted each other.
Masiyatengwa told Harare magistrate, Gamuchirai Siwardi, that they faced stiff resistance while attempting to arrest Dzamara and Masarira.

But, Chingwaru told the same court that all the five activists handed themselves to the police and volunteered to be taken to Harare Central Police Station.

Through their lawyer, Obey Shava, the suspects denied the charge.

Shava said the statements recorded from State witnesses appear to have been prepared by one person although they had different signatures, but Masiyatengwa dismissed the assertion.

“Do you know that your affidavit, together with Chingwaru’s was prepared by one person and is the same word for word and the only difference is your signatures?” Shava asked.

Shava also told the witness there was bad blood between him and the activists since he had indicated in court that he once arrested the same activists on two different occasions, an indication that their relationship was that of a cat and mice.

After the State closed its case, Shava filed a notice to apply for discharge and told the court he would submit his application on January 31 with the court set to hand down its ruling on February 9.

Allegations are that on October 24 last year at the Harare Gardens, the five suspects used threatening, abusive and insulting words on peace officers leading to their arrest. Oscar Madhume appeared for the State.

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