Five men, who were accused of torturing, kidnapping and robbing while impersonating police officers to villagers who had reportedly stolen gold ore from a mine in Mutawatawa have been acquitted of all charges.
The mine was earlier believed to be owned by United Family International Church (UFIC) leader Emmanuel Makandiwa but it was established that it belongs to a church member. It was also established that Makandiwa regularly visits the mine.
Garikai Murambidzi, Warren Chinyani, Joseph Dzomba, Osward Mukwesha and Brian Mawarura and four others were found not guilty after a full trial before Mutawatawa magistrate Mr Elijah Sibanda. Sibanda ruled that State allegations were unsubstantiated and lacked corroboration. The accused persons were facing four counts of kidnapping, three counts of robbery, assault and impersonating a police officer, peace officer or public official.