By Court Reporter
MDC Alliance supporters arrested following last week’s deadly violence are responsible for the death of six people in the widely condemned clashes, government prosecutors told a Harare court Monday.
The claim was made by prosecutor Michael Reza as he opposed bail for the 27 suspects before magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini.
Of the 27, seven are women. They were arrested after police stormed the Harvest House head office of the MDC-T party in central Harare last Thursday.
“Six people died because of the accused people’s actions and some lost their property,” said Reza.
“There is a direct link with each one of the accused people. They have more muscles than brains and they chose to use violence to settle issues instead of using the law.”
Reza also arguing that the suspects were likely to flee and interfere with evidence and witnesses if granted bail pending.
“These are people who knew the police were looking for them. Instead of surrendering themselves they went and sought refuge at Harvest house,” he charged.
“Some of the suspects were caught setting cars on fire and some were seen stoning police officers and we have the evidence.
“The state is saying these are people who have unfinished business outside. To them what they did already, is a minor disturbance and they want to be outside so that they can finish their business.”
The State also said the political environment in the country was still “volatile.”
“Even today there was communication for people to abscond work on social media and the police had to issue a statement advising otherwise,” said Reza.
Activists deny charges
The activists are denying involvement in the violence and vandalism which rocked Harare last week.
According to the defence lawyers, over half of the suspects are employed by the opposition MDC Alliance as caretakers, security officers and general hand.
Some, the lawyers add, were the party’s poll agents deployed in Uzumba- Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP).
“The accused will state that they had just arrived from UMP and were surrendering returns at Harvest House and collecting transport and food allowances,” said one of the defence attorneys.
“They sought refuge at Harvest House after soldiers opened fire at civilians.”
One suspect, according to the lawyer Angeline Mukoki, was an observer and on duty when she was caught in the police dragnet arrest.
Another, Simbarashe Mujeyi, was arrested on in lieu his boss Happymore Chidziva, Highfields West legislator.
“He was told that he will only be released if he discloses Chidziva’s whereabouts,” said the lawyer.
Mujeyi was Chidziva’s campaign manager.
Another suspect, Ngonidzashe Makazhu said he had gone to Harvest house to congratulate MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti for winning the election.
The endured another night in prison after the magistrate postponed the bail ruling to Tuesday morning.