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Zimbabwe Lawyers Want Treason Charges Against Activists Dropped

  • Chris Gande

In the first treason trial to be held in the second city of Bulawayo, the three activists, Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas, are being accused of distributing fliers calling for an uprising against the government

Lawyers representing three activist members of the Zimbabwe pressure group, Mthwakazi Liberation Front, say they will apply for dismissal of the case because of inconsistent evidence.

In the first treason trial to be held in the second city of Bulawayo, the three activists, Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas, are being accused of distributing fliers calling for an uprising against the government. They deny the charge.

Lawyer Lucas Nkomo tells VOA's Chris Gande the case against the three has literally crumbled after two star witnesses gave inconsistent evidence.

“The first two witnesses denied that they had ever seen the accused people thereby weakening the case against the trio,” said Nkomo.

The state alleges that the fliers the three were distributing urged the people Matabeleland to rise against the government.

The three argue the state misinterpreted the message on their fliers.

Nkomo says witnesses who have taken the stand so far have not only weakened the state case but showed that no crime was committed.

“The arresting officers also gave conflicting and inconsistent evidence that was not of any assistance to the state case,” said Nkomo.

Justice Ndou, sitting with assessors Jongilizwe Sobantu and Phanuel Damba, have postponed the case to April 23.

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