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Violence witnesses scared to testify

by Staff reporter
21 Jan 2019 at 08:15hrs | Views
TWO State witnesses in the case of MDC-Alliance Member of Parliament for Chiwundura Livingstone Chiminya's alleged incitement to commit a crime fled after being intimidated by unknown people before they could testify in court on Friday.

This was heard during the appearance of Chiminya before Provincial Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa. Chiminya, who is also the MDC-Alliance Midlands provincial youth chairperson, is facing one count of inciting violence.

Through his lawyer, Mr Brian Dube, Chiminya is pleading not guilty.

Mrs Msipa postponed the matter to today for continuation of trial before ordering the State to make efforts in locating the two witnesses. Chiminya was remanded in custody.

"The matter is postponed to Monday and the State must make sure that the two witnesses come to testify. The four to five days asked by the State to locate the witnesses are too many and I am giving the State up to Monday," she said.

Chiminya's trial kicked off with the State led by Mr Talent Tadenyika calling two witnesses, namely detective sergeant Charles Chabvi and arresting detail Constance Kwirei.

Det Sgt Chabvi said two more witnesses Tapiwa Kadenge and Tapiwa Muganhu had allegedly fled and could not be located after unknown people visited them at their respective houses.

Det Sgt Chabvi asked the court for about five days to locate the witnesses.

"There is another group of people that came looking for the witnesses at their respective homes and they have not been seen ever since.

"We don't know if they were abducted or they just went into hiding fearing for their lives. So we are trying to locate them. We have asked co-tenants at their house for their whereabouts but to no avail. We ask for about four to five days to locate them," said Det Sgt Chabvi.

Meanwhile, Amos Chibaya, the MDC-Alliance organising secretary who is the MP for Mkoba, appeared before Provincial Magistrate Ms Charity Maphosa facing one count of incitement to commit a crime. Through his lawyer Mr Reginald Chidawanyika, Chibaya is pleading not guilty.

Ms Maphosa postponed the matter to today for continuation of trial and Chibaya was remanded in custody.

Chibaya and Chiminya, the court heard, allegedly held a meetings at various houses in Mkoba 13 and 14 on January 13 and incited MDC-Alliance youths to go onto the streets of Gweru to prevent the general public from going to work.

It is alleged that youth gangs blocked Hamutyinei and Bristol roads in Mkoba and Matobo Road in Mtapa using logs, stones and burning tyres, disrupting free movement of vehicles and the general public.

They allegedly went to Choppies Supermarket in Mkoba 6 and looted groceries worth $10 000, Samanyanga shop at Mkoba 10 and looted various groceries valued at $2 500, among other shops.

Source - the herald