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Prosecutors: Detained MDC Activists Don't Deserve Bail

The murder trial of 29 activists of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, accused of killing a top Harare cop last year, resumed Friday with the prosecution saying none of the 26 people remaining in custody deserve to be released on bail.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba stunned the court when he said the activists, who remain in remand prison on allegations of murdering Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in Harare’s Glen View high density suburb last year, should remain locked up until the case is finalized.

Nyazamba said the prosecution had overwhelming evidence linking the 26 to the offense unlike MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore and two other activists - Lovemore Taruvinga Magaya and Cynthia Manjoro - who were released on bail after revelations that the trio was nowhere near the crime scene on the day Mutedza was allegedly murdered.

This followed Tuesday’s directive by presiding judge, Chinembiri Bhunu, for the prosecution and the defense teams to agree on the fate of those remaining in remand prison before coming to court Friday.

But lead defense lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, told the court that she did not manage to meet with the prosecution team, accusing Nyazamba of giving excuses each time she called him until they met at the court.

Some of the accused’s relatives shed tears in court following Nyazamba’s statement. One of the relatives, who refused to speak on record, told VOA she fears that their loved ones will spend another Christmas in prison.

The Tsvangirai MDC formation says charges against its activists were brought for political reasons.
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