State pursues 2001 political violence case

HARARE – The State is pursuing a 2001 culpable homicide case in which three Zanu PF activists allegedly murdered a man for refusing to attend a meeting.

Tapiwa Chimbandi who was 15 then and Zhuwao Dabson, 36, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Lucy Mungwari to answer to the charges.

The pair’s co-accused Samuel Sibiwa has since died.

“The accused persons’ right to a trial within a reasonable time has been violated,” Chimbandi and Zhuwao said in their challenge of prosecution.

“This is a 2001 matter but for the past 10 years, the accused persons were not tried. At one time the trial commenced but there were no witnesses to testify.

“In 2015, further remand was refused on the basis that the State’s house was not in order.”

The deceased Dumukani Zondiwa was employed as a tractor driver at Tobacco Training Institute at Blackfordby Farm in Waterfalls in Harare.

During that time, Chimbandi and Dabson were unemployed and resided at Orda Farm, Waterfalls.

Prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu alleged that on June 10, 2001, Chimbandi and Zhuwao were part of a group of farm occupiers who were sent to assemble Blackfordby Farm employees and residents for a meeting to solve a previous day dispute in that compound.

The court heard that while calling out people for the meeting, Chimbandi and Zhuwao met Zondiwa near his house and a quarrel ensued between the three.

It is alleged that Chimbandi and Zhuwao accused Zondiwa of ignoring the call for the said meeting and began dragging him.

Along the way, Cephas Matare, who is now deceased, grabbed Zondiwa by the shoulder and head-butted him twice.

Zondiwa tried to get up but Chimbandi kicked him before he was joined by Samuel Sibiwa to continuously attack him.

The court heard that Zhuwao then used a golf stick to strike Zondiwa on the stomach and he became unconscious, prompting the trio to leave him as they rushed for the scheduled meeting.

Zondiwa was later ferried by an ambulance to Harare Central Hospital where he died soon after arrival.

A postmortem conducted on June 13, 2001 concluded that his death was caused by multiple injuries, ruptured viscera and shock.

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