Zimbabwe: Justice Bhunu Postpones Cop Murder Trial Again

High Court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, has cited illness again and postponed the trial of 29 MDC-T activists, accused of murdering a Glen View cop last year.

Defence lawyer Gift Mtisi told SW Radio Africa that the trial was supposed to resume Wednesday after being postponed on Monday. But the judge asked them to appear in his chambers and said he had a problem with his legs.

Mtisi said: “We appeared in his chambers and he gave an excuse. The judge said there was some problem with his legs, especially with cloudy weather. So he has postponed the trial until Monday November 5th”.

Mtisi also represented two other MDC-T activists in a bail hearing Wednesday. Jackson Mabota and Tarisai Kusotera, both MDC-T youth leaders from Glen View, were arrested earlier this month and also charged with the murder of Officer Petros Mutedza, in May, 2011, over a year after the incident.

Mtisi said the two activists were in court for their bail hearing but Justice Mayera reserved judgement indefinitely.

“The state had finished their response to our application yesterday and judgement could have been passed. But the judge may have needed time to go over both submissions. She did not indicate when she would make a ruling on bail” Mtisi explained.

This hearing was also supposed to have been held on Monday but was postponed after the prosecutor failed to turn up.

The main trial of the 29 activists has dragged on for more than year, with the state and judges giving various excuses to cause delay. The excuses have included the absence of witnesses and assessors who were due in court on several occasions. The judge’s illness has become the latest excuse.

Beatrice Mtetwa who heads the defence team, has complained about the amount of time spent on actual court business. She says court sessions add up to only a few hours, even though the trial has been going on for months.

The MDC-T insists the delays are deliberate and meant to prolong the detention of their officials and party members. They say officer Petros Mutedza was killed by unknown revellers at a Glen View pub. But the state claims he was killed by MDC-T members who held a meeting at the pub.

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Zimbabwe: Justice Bhunu Postpones Cop Murder Trial Again