Hands off the courts , police told

A regional magistrate has condemned the actions of members of the police who have a tendency of carrying out their investigations on public violence ‘protesters’ by jotting notes during trial while accused persons testified in court.

Regional Magistrate Hoseah Mujaya said this while passing judgement in a matter in which nine men stood accused of taking part in the violence that rocked the country in January.

“One of the accused persons had to be stopped from testifying because an officer of the intelligence organisation was busy taking notes while the accused led his evidence. The police had ample time to carry out their investigations instead of finalising their investigations in court, this is not a police court. The accused is supposed to feel safe and secure while testifying in court,” the court heard.

Of the nine accused persons, seven were found guilty and are yet to be sentenced. The seven are Simbarashe Nyamadzawo (22), Talent Mugadza (21), Gilbert Jasimoni (34), Abisha Musakanda (24), George Tomu (26), Danny Sere (27) and Brian Zuze (23) .

Takudzwa Mutupa (19) and Brian Nyamayara (19) were found not guilty and acquitted.

The State led by prosecutor Netsai Mushayabasa said on January 14 and around 0800 hours the minor together with 300 other accused persons who are still at large gathered at Kamunhu Shopping center in Mabvuku disturbed the public’s security.

The minor who was armed with catapults and other weapons of mass destruction barricaded roads at the shopping center, throwing missiles at Choppies Supermarket, forced open the doors before they looted groceries.

The gang went on to throw missiles at various shops which were opening and providing services forcing them to join in in the shut down campaign fueling the violence and making commuters stranded together with private vehicle owners.

The violence led to the distraction of several buildings. The police who reacted to the violence managed to disperse the disgruntled demonstrators.