By BLESSING MASAKADZA
CITIZENS Coalition for Change members Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri, facing allegations of faking their abduction before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts, believe the State has no case against them and want the charges dropped.
The two represented by Alec Muchadehama and Jeremiah Bamu are set to apply for discharge on August 29 and the State will respond on September 2.
Chief magistrate Faith Mushore will make a ruling on September 9.
The State closed its case yesterday, leading evidence from investigating officer Morgan Chafa with the accused insisting they never told anyone that they had been abducted or kidnapped and that they did not make a formal report to anyone.
Chafa said the statements they recorded from them were another way of reporting and they actually opened a kidnapping docket.
They also said they never used the word kidnapping to anyone and Chafa said the word was arrived at by someone who understood law.
Allegations against them are that on May 13, 2020 at around 12.30pm, together with MDC-Alliance youth, participated in a demonstration in Warren Park.
Later, they allegedly called their friends, family and lawyers saying that they had been arrested at a roadblock near the Showgrounds and were taken to Harare Central Police Station, yet they were not.
Claims are that on the same day, social media platforms and local newspapers were awash with news that the three had been arrested and later abducted, which allegedly later turned out to be false and attracted adverse comments locally and internationally, derailing the country’s economic recovery efforts.
In their defence, the two described the allegations as an attempt by the police, Zanu PF and the State to hide the horrendous experiences they encountered during their period of forced disappearance.
In denying the a charge of publishing falsehoods yesterday, the two said they were subjected to inhuman torture at the hands of their assailants, being forced to drink and consume each other’s urine and stool.
They told the court that one of them was subjected to sexual abuse having her top torn before the muzzle of a gun being inserted into her privates after refusing to defecate and her consume stool.
“Accused will tell the court that they are being persecuted by the State at the behest of Zanu PF for political purposes.
“They will specifically tell the court that whatever Zanu PF officials said in public media beforehand is exactly what would transpire to them.
“Their arrest and detention in connection with this offence were precipitated by such denigrating and derogatory statements in public media,” their lawyer Alec Muchadehama submitted.
The two told the court that they did not communicate or publish to any friends that they had been abducted and that none of the communications they made at the material time is false.
It is their argument that the abduction claims are being used by the State functionaries to abuse them. – Daily News