Zim opposition activist in court over cop murder

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An opposition party supporter in Zimbabwe has been arrested and charged with killing a police officer during skirmishes between vendors and the cops, which occurred two weeks ago in the capital.

Barnabas Mwanaka (35) was arrested on 8 July and charged with murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 09:23) before appearing in court Monday.

The State said Mwanaka and his suspected accomplices, mostly vendors dotted around Harvest House — the MDC-T headquarters — mobilised themselves on 29 June, and attacked anti-riot police officers deployed to the area to restore order after running battles between informal sector traders and the police.

 

Zim cop

Allegations are that Mwanaka and his suspected accomplices, who are still at large, attacked Talkmore Phiri and his colleague, Constable Constance Gumbo, with stones and they fell off the vehicle they were travelling on.

The opposition activists, the prosecution said, stoned and kicked the now-deceased Phiri, who had to be rescued by his workmates who rushed him to Morris Depot, a police training institution, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Harare magistrate Tilda Mazhande remanded the accused person — who is represented by Tonderai Bhatasara from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights — in custody to 24 July.

Mwanaka was arrested at the weekend after being positively identified by one of the police officers, who witnessed the alleged attack.

He denied committing the offence.

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