By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
A CHINHOYI magistrate this Tuesday acquitted Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, Godfrey Makoko, who was facing charges of threatening to kill MDC president, Douglas Mwonzora.
This dealt a huge blow to Mwonzora who earlier this week suffered yet another legal defeat after the Constitutional Court dismissed a court application challenging Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s delimitation report and seeking postponement of impending 2023 elections.
Chinhoyi Magistrate Toendepi Zhou set free Makoko (40) after a lengthy trial that saw State calling four “weak” witnesses who gave conflicting versions.
Testimonies by Mwonzora’s three security aides were riddled with inconsistencies and therefore, unreliable, the court ruled.
In his judgement Zhou noted one named private security guard, who works at Chinhoyi Court Complex where the purported threats were made, testified that he never saw or heard accused person issuing threats of violence.
Makoko, in his earlier defence outline through his lawyer Kudzai Choga, put it that charges against him were concocted to settle political scores.
Court heard the MDC president had laid charges to retaliate humiliation by CCC activists who chanted political songs outside the courthouse on November 11, 2022 after his application for a spoilation order against CCC was ruled defective.
“The State did not crucially interrogate fourth State witness who said he never saw accused person near complainant,” the magistrate ruled.
“The State shot itself in the foot by calling the fourth witness (name supplied) who said he didn’t see any such incident of threats of attack on Mwonzora by accused person.
“The State failed to prove itself beyond any reasons doubt and, therefore, this court will give benefit of doubt to accused person who is hereby acquitted and discharged.”
Earlier in March, the same court acquitted Makoko’s co-accused: CCC interim provincial secretary Tawanda Bvumo, former Chinhoyi mayor and incumbent Ward 12 Councillor Dyke Makumbi and party security officer, Taurai Justin Munyaradzi.
Speaking exclusively to NewZimbabwe.com following his acquittal, Makoko said: “That was a long awaited judgement, and at the end of the day l am free. I am ready to serve my party to bring freedom to our nation. That’s what the struggle is about.
“Inspite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, l have got a dream and goal to free fellow citizens”.
He added: “It feels good to be acquitted when somebody fabricates allegations against you, especially someone who is saying he wants to be president of this country.
“It is so shameful because a genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus, but a moulder of consensus. He is trying to use the courts, notwithstanding that the law cannot change the heart.
“I will never change my ideas for trying to bring change in our country, no! He is trying to have power, but power without love is reckless and abusive. That’s why he is abusing the court. I never thought Mwonzora can do something like this.
“The road to freedom is hard and difficult, and it always makes for temporary setbacks.
“We are one people with one vision of freeing fellow citizens from the bondage of Zanu PF but we should not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred,” Makoko said.
Mwonzora, who was milling outside Chinhoyi Court Complex moments before judgement was delivered, curiously disappeared from the scene and could not be reached for comment.