High Court Sentence for Inspector Mutekedza Murder Accused Set for Today
HIGH Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu will on Monday 12 December 2016 sentence four Harare residents who were convicted for the murder of a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Inspector Petros Mutedzi.
Tungamirai Madzokere aged 41, Yvonne Musarurwa aged 29 and Last Maengahama aged 40, where on Monday 6 September 2016 found guilty of murder with actual intent while Phineas Nhatarikwa aged 50, who was convicted for being an accessory to the crime was however granted bail by the High Court.
Justice Bhunu will pronounce sentences on the convicted four Harare residents, who are also known opposition political party officials affiliated to former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party and former Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, after he postponed indefinitely the sentencing in September.
The four are part of the 29 Glenview residents who were arrested in 2011 and charged with contravening Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
22 of the accused persons were found not guilty and released at the close of the State’s case in 2013 while one of the MDC-T activists Rebecca Mafikeni succumbed to ill health while at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.
The other 3 were acquitted when they appeared before Justice Bhunu on Monday 6 September 2016.
ZLHR board chairperson Beatrice Mtetwa who is leading the team of lawyers representing the MDC-T officials submitted, in mitigation, that her clients had already endured a lengthy pre-trial incarceration period of about 32 months and that the Courts should put that into consideration when coming up with a sentence.
She also prayed for community service sentences because there was no evidence connecting her clients to the murder of the police inspector adding that the opposition political party officials had been convicted based on the doctrine of common purpose which was not only archaic but was discredited as it had been used in the pre-colonial era in Zimbabwe and apartheid era in South Africa to punish political activists.
The State claims that on 29 May 2011, the Glenview residents chanted MDC-T party slogans denouncing police officers while throwing stones and empty beer bottles at them and that their actions resulted in the
death of Inspector Mutedza.