PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's new wife, Elizabeth Macheka, caused a stir in court on Tuesday after turning up unannounced for a bail hearing for 29 MDC-T activists charged with the murder of a police officer in May last year.
Accompanied by one of her husband’s top aides, James Maridadi, and senior MDC-T officials who included organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, Macheka sat through Tuesday’s proceedings, putting aside the controversy surrounding her weekend ‘marriage’ to Tsvangirai.
The MDC-T activists, who have been in custody for about 16 months, deny charges they fatally assaulted Inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View last May.
But the latest bail hearing has seen sensational testimony from Mutedza’s brother, Tichaona, who claimed the ZRP officer's body had parts missing and that he was murdered by Zanu PF supporters.
On Tuesday Tichaona’s father, Solomon, who said he was a staunch Zanu PF supporter, backed his son's testimony and urged the court to release the MDC-T activists.
“I‘m positive that my son was killed by Zanu PF for political mileage,” the elder Mutedza told the court.
“At the burial site they addressed the gathering saying MDC was not a party to be voted for because they killed innocent people like what they did to my son, but I am not buying that explanation.
“A huge crowd was bussed in by the police who brought the body and they were wearing Zanu PF T-shirts and throughout the funeral they were behaving like they were at a political rally.”
Solomon also backed ealier claims by Tichaona that his brother’s body had parts missing and injuries not consistent with accounts given by the police.
“When I examined the body I found terrible wounds which are not consistent with what the police told us,” Solomon said.
“We had been told by the police boss whose name I cannot recall that my son had been struck once on the head and fell down and died but the gory wounds and deep lacerations on his body could not have been caused by just one stone.
“There was a deep perforation on his forehead that the skull was visible. It seemed like some object had been repeatedly rammed into that spot with a lot of force. His private parts had also been severed off by some sharp object like a knife.”
The Mutedzas stuck to their testimony despite intense cross examination from prosecutors who suggested that the missing body parts could have been removed by family members.
Meanwhile, Beatrice Mtetwa who is representing the MDC-T activists, urged the court to grant her clients bail.
“The fact that the aggrieved family is actually saying they do not believe my clients committed this heinous crime is an extraordinary exception; they are actually not opposed to granting of bail for the 29 because they feel there has been a miscarriage of justice,” she said.
“It has also been established that none of the 29 were sent for an identification parade as is regulatory for witnesses to point out the suspects; that is also exceptional.”
Prosecutors say Inspector Mutedza was killed by a mob of MDC-T activists after police tried to break off an illegal gathering.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is expected make a ruling on the fresh bail application later Wednesday.