8 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Lawyer Calls for Hon. Mangoma's Acquittal

press release

The defence lawyer representing Hon. Elton Mangoma, the MDC Deputy Treasurer General and Minister of Energy and Power Development has called for his acquittal on charges of undermining the authority of the President last year.

Hon. Mangoma's trial continued today at the Bindura Magistrates' Court where the State is alleging that he undermined the authority of the President when he addressed a rally at Manhenga Business Centre in Mt Darwin last year in May by calling for the death of Robert Mugabe.

However, the two State witnesses who were crossed examined in court, Detective Sergeant Kamuzimbi and Kelvin Chidaushe gave contradictory statements on what Hon. Mangoma said resulting in his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa calling for his acquittal after the cross examination.

Mtetwa said Chidaushe had shown amnesia as he only recalled that Hon. Mangoma had only said that Mugabe should die but nothing else. His court evidence also contradicted his written statement from last year.

The two police officers who are with the Law and Order Section and were present at the Manhenga rally failed to explain why it took the police four months to notify Hon. Mangoma that he was under investigation and six months to arrest him.

The defence lawyer said evidence given by the two police officers showed that they had a written script from their superiors, which they had rehearsed before coming to court.

However, the State is opposing Hon. Mangoma's acquittal and said they will submit their opposing application on 12 February. The magistrate's ruling on the defence and State's submission will be made on 5 April.

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