Suspected ZANU PF protestors who burnt a ZUPCO bus to ashes and a car belonging to former Information minister Webster Shamu’s wife have accused the state of rail-roading their trial.
The eight protestors, Miston Siriva, Charles Bengeza, Shylock Chihuri, Emmanuel Chari, Cassim Muzhingi, Benson Bhobho, Nollen Dulana and Rumbidzai Dulana, who are accused of public violence, were brought before a Harare magistrate on Wednesday evening.
The eight sought postponement after Gift Mtisi and Simon Simango took over their legal representation. Simango protested that the accused were brought before the court without being furnished with the State papers for them to prepare their defence:
It is common cause that an accused person must be furnished with State papers which formulate the backbone of any trial. For it to be a fair trial, one has to have state papers.
This happened in the full glare of the honourable magistrate. The accused persons feel the court is biased because of the oversight.
They came in yesterday and trial proceeded yesterday without the State papers and the accused persons are questioning the hurry in their prosecution.
This constitutes Sharia law where trial is fast-tracked and accused persons are hurried to the gallows.
He also sought recusal of the magistrate on the basis that he may have been swayed by a statement by the permanent secretary in the Information ministry Nick Mangwana which was broadcast by the national broadcaster when he allegedly said that they want to expeditiously bring the protesters before the courts and give them lengthy prison terms.
However, the magistrate, Elijah Makomo, dismissed the applications and ruled that trial proceeds immediately.
More: Daily News
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