ARTUZ: drama as IO falls ill during cross examination
There was drama at Harare Magistrates Court after lawyers representing 16 Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) members grilled the investigating officer during continuation of their bail hearing Friday.
The 16 teachers were arrested Wednesday in Harare after holding a peaceful demonstration in a bid to persuade government to reconsider their poor salaries and working conditions.
They are being represented by Trust Maanda and Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and accused of participating in gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace bigotry. As defined in section 37(1) (a) of the criminal law (CODIFICATION AND REFORM) ACT, CHAPTER 9: 23
Harare Magistrate Yeukai Dzuda remanded them in custody to Monday after their bail hearing failed to complete.
Detective Collin Makore from CID Law and Order claimed to have fallen ill after being grilled by Maanda and failing to comprehend questions asked.
“Did you pass O Level English because I feel like you are failing comprehension here? You haven’t answered any questions which I have asked,” queried Maanda.
“That is the reason why I asked about O level English you have completely failed to answer my questions but let me try by all means to go down to your same level.”
“I have a degree,” detective Makore said in response sending the gallery into stitches.
After his response detective Makore
However, the situation turned to another level, whispered to the interpreter “musoro wangu wakutema” (My head is now aching) and the intepreter had to tell the presiding magistrate and the court gallery that Makore had just fallen sick.
However, the defense further questioned Makore whether he was suffering from the effects of a hangover.
“Is this not babalasi (Hang Over) or it is because of the questions I am asking,” queried the defense counsel.
During the proceedings Makore accused ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure of misleading the police after he allegedly fed them with a wrong address, a point he said supported their opposition for bail.
“I stay in the same neighbourhood with Masaraure but he gave us a house number in Kuwadzana where I know he does not reside,” he said.
To further substantiate his reasons for opposing bail, Makore said police were in possession of placards written information denouncing the Government of Zimbabwe and President Emmerson Mnagangwa that were recovered from the accused persons.
He however, could not produce them in court since he left them at his home.
“I left the placards at home because, I was using a lorry as a mode of transport to work and it was raining,” said Makore to the amusement of the gallery.
Makore told the court that he believed t if the 16 were to be released on bail they could skip the border to find greener pastures as they have declared that the salaries they were peanuts.
He also added that there was no telephone directory or telephones at Harare Central for police to establish if some of the schools provided by the accused’s as home addresses existed.