HARARE – The National Prosecuting Authority has told the Harare Magistrates Court that it is “unable to comply” with a court order directing an investigation into the brutal assault of former student leader Takudzwa Ngadziore during his September 18, 2020, arrest.
The then ZINASU president was addressing journalists outside Impala Car Rental in Harare when he was set upon by suspected state security agents, badly beaten and then taken to Harare Central Police Station.
He was charged participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, which he denies.
Ngadziore’s trial was due to get underway on October 6 but stalled after his lawyer Obey Shava insisted on the report of the court-ordered investigation to be tabled in court.
The trial was postponed to October 18 after a magistrate ordered the NPA to furnish the court with the report.
Takudzwa Jambawo, for the NPA, stunned the court on Tuesday when he said they were unable to produce the report – two years on.
“After consulting my superiors, in their wisdom the report is not necessary or relevant and the trial should commence. We acknowledge the existence of the court order but we’re unable to comply with it,” Jambawo said.
Shava reminded magistrate Ruth Moyo that the court “cannot review its own decisions” and she agreed, before leaning on the NPA to table the report as previously ordered.
Jambawo requested a brief adjournment and when the court resumed sitting, he insisted that the report was irrelevant to the trial and they would not be producing it.
“The state counsel is being contemptuous,” Shava bristled. “I request the court to remove the accused from remand until the state has purged its default.”
Moyo was not immediately able to make a ruling on the defence application and postponed the hearing to October 21 when she will decide if Ngadziore should be removed from remand in light of the refusal by the prosecution to comply with a court order.
Ngadziore was seized while addressing a news conference outside Impala Car Rental, the company whose vehicle was used in the abduction and torture of Midlands State University student Tawanda Muchehiwa on the eve of planned anti-government protests in July 2020.
The news conference was one of many solidarity events ZINASU staged in protest over Muchehiwa’s abduction.