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MDC trio to be tried separately 

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Blessing Masakadza 

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

masakadzab@dailynews.co.zw

THE State’s wish to have the MDC Alliance youth leaders Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marowa tried separately has been by the Harare Magistrates court.

This follows the State’s application for separation on the basis that Mamombe was still undergoing treatment for a mental health disorder and could not stand trial for allegedly faking her abduction.

In that regard, the prosecution wanted to proceed with Chimbiri and Marowa’s trials while Mamombe will have to wait for her day in court once she recovers.

The trio through their lawyers argued that they cannot be separated as their evidence is intertwined and that it will be costly and timeous for them to appear separately.

The State said it had evidence against the three and GPS data from their mobile numbers will show where they were on the day of the alleged abduction.

The prosecution said the trio are not collectively accused but each one will face trial according to the location data from their mobile numbers.

Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande said there would be no prejudice if the trio are separated and it will be in the interest of justice for a matter to be heard timeously.

The court said doctors’ reports were contradictory with one doctor saying Mamombe will be able to stand trial in a month while the other pointed to six months hence there is no clarity of when she will be fit for court proceedings.

The trio’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama said his clients were not happy with the decision and they would be filing for review of the decision.

Allegations against the three are that on May 13 at around 1230pm, 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.

After the alleged demonstration, the prosecutors claim they went onto fake their abduction, claims which the State says had an adverse effect on the country’s image.

The alleged false kidnapping statements are said to have attracted adverse comments locally and internationally derailing the country’s economic recovery efforts.

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