‘Fake’ abduction case: Trial fails to kick off  

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THE trial of MDC Alliance youth leaders Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marowa accused of faking their abduction after a demonstration in Warren Park, Harare, yesterday failed to kick off at the request of their lawyers.
Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama told the court that they had not been served with all the papers to prepare for their defence for trial.
He said they had written and served the State with a letter requesting the documents.
The State did not oppose the defence’s application for postponement, but indicated that the defence ought to have raised the issues in time as they had served them with all the other papers about a month ago.
Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande postponed the matter to September 15.
The three will also stand trial in the matter involving the said demonstration on October 5 which they are jointly charged with other three MDC Alliance youth members.
Allegations against the three are that on May 13 at around 12:30pm, the accused and other MDC Alliance youths gathered at Choppies Supermarket in Warren Park 1 and staged a demonstration against the recalling of their MPs from Parliament and the alleged misuse of funds for Covid-19 pandemic by the government.
On the same day, it is said they called their friends, family and lawyers saying they had been arrested at a roadblock
near the Showgrounds and were taken to Harare Central Police Station.
Upon receiving the communications, their lawyer Jeremiah Bamu reportedly went to the police CID Law and Order department.
Bamu is alleged to have told chief detective Chibaya that the accused had been arrested and taken to Harare Central police station.
Allegations are that checks were made and it was established that they had not been arrested.
On the same day, social media platforms and local newspapers were awash with news that the three had been
arrested.
The State alleged that on May 15, at around 1am, Bamu advised the police that the three were at Muchapondwa business centre in Bindura.
The police accompanied by Bamu went to Muchapondwa business centre in Bindura, collected the trio and took them to a hospital in Waterfalls as they were claiming to have been tortured.
On May 19, Marowa was interviewed by detective Chafa to the effect that she was abducted and tortured. Mamombe and Chimbiri were later interviewed on May 25, according to State.
Claims are that investigations by the police revealed that they were never abducted and they had stage managed the kidnapping.
It is also alleged that during the time of the said kidnapping, they were at Belgravia Shopping Centre in Harare.
The State alleges that they were seen at around 1645hrs in a Mercedes Benz which was being driven by Mamombe.
It also claims that it is in possession of the video footage showing the three at Belgravia Shopping Centre.
The alleged false kidnapping statements are alleged to have attracted adverse comments locally and internationally, derailing the country’s economic recovery efforts.

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