By Mary Taruvinga
A police officer who is set to stand as a witness in a case in which Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) officials, Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri are being accused of publishing falsehoods has vanished, a Harare court has heard.
Venencia Muchenje was one of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers who were manning the roadblock at Harare showgrounds on the day the duo were allegedly abducted in 2020.
Muchenje has since told court that Mamombe and her friends, Chimbiri and the exiled Netsai Marova, were neither seen nor arrested at the roadblock on the day in question.
The officer was expected to continue with her testimony, but has failed on two occasions.
The duo’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, raised fears that the witness does not want to be cross examined.
But prosecutor, Michael Reza, said Muchenje is not feeling well.
On Wednesday, Reza was forced to call Muchenje’s boss at Machipisa Police Station.
According to Reza, the boss, only identified as Superintendent Moyo, promised to send his colleagues to Muchenje’s house.
“I phoned her boss at Machipisa Police Station, Superintendent Moyo, who asked me to wait so that they could send someone to pick her up, but until now, the call has not come,” Reza said.
Court was forced to adjourn as the state made efforts to find Muchenje.
After the brief adjournment, Reza said the officers sent to her house did not see her.
He further told the court that superintendent Moyo had volunteered to go in person to verify what was going on with the witness.
The matter was postponed by Magistrate Faith Mushure to May 17 for trial continuation.
Mamombe and friends are being accused of faking an abduction before laying the blame on state agents.
Prosecutors allege they lied only to tarnish the government’s reputation.
They are also being accused of staging a demonstration in breach of Covid-19 regulations.