DOZENS of riot police officers Tuesday descended on Harare Magistrates’ courts in an apparent bid to quell possible unrest after MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa made an impromptu appearance.
Chamisa and scores of MDC supporters appeared at the courts in solidarity with their party’s National Organising Secretary and Member of Parliament for Mkoba, Amos Chibaya.
Chibaya who is facing allegations of failing to stop the public from engaging in a protest when he was legally obliged to do so, had appeared in court on Tuesday in anticipation of commencement of trial.
However, trial failed to kick-off as the state’s witnesses were absent.
One of the witnesses were absent due to a motor-vehicle mechanical fault while the other one could not be reached on his mobile phone.
The state applied for the postponement of the matter.
The defence counsel were opposed to the postponement and wanted the court to deny the state’s request as they viewed the state’s reason as not good enough to cause the deferment of the case.
Magistrate Gloria Takundwa, however, ruled in favour of the state giving reasons that the witnesses were not warned at the last sitting to appear in court.
She also added that there is no proof that they were told to attend court on the date the defence expected trial to commence.
The accused’s lawyer had made an application for exception of charges on February 11 this year but it was dismissed today.
Takundwa warned the state that if their witnesses fail to appear at the next remand date the court they will have to proceed by way of summons.
The defence counsel nevertheless, said on behalf of his client, he wants to make an application that another magistrate try the matter as they are now doubting Takundwa’s neutrality.
Chibaya was remanded to March 11 for a possible trial.