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Jailed MDC activists appeal to Malaba over delayed ruling

by Staff reporter
05 Mar 2021 at 06:29hrs | Views
CHIEF Justice Luke Malaba has been asked to look into a year-long delay on pronouncement of judgment on an appeal by incarcerated MDC activists Tungamira Madzokere and Last Maengahama.

The two were arrested, convicted and sentenced over the 2011 death of police officer, Petros Mutedza, who was part of a police operation to disperse MDC youths who were on a visibility tour in Glen View, Harare.

However, the three activists, including Yvonne Musarurwa (MDC-T proportional representation MP) who is now youth leader in the MDC-T, appealed against the conviction and subsequent sentence.

However, one year later, no judgment has been passed.

The Hopewell Gumbo, Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere Solidarity Trust yesterday said they had since appealed to Justice Malaba on the matter, arguing that the integrity of the courts was under threat from the apparent delay in the pronouncement of the ruling.

"They have been incarcerated for the past four years in addition to years that they spent locked up on remand. The integrity of our courts will be seriously compromised by this apparent delay in the pronouncement of the ruling," the trust said in a statement.

"We, therefore, appeal to the Chief Justice, for the urgent pronouncement of the ruling on Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere on March 3, 2020 Supreme Court appeal."

They added: "We, in the Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere Solidarity Network, today appeal to Chief Justice Malaba to address the pertinent call for freedom by Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere."

The network said one year of reserved judgment on the matter was too much and tantamount to what is meant by the adage, "Justice delayed is justice denied."

"The 3rd of March 2021 marks exactly a year since the Supreme Court heard an appeal by Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madzokere and Yvonne Musarurwa against their sentence and conviction. Yet a ruling has not been passed. This delay has caused untold anxiety to Maengahama, and Madzokere, who remain in custody to date awaiting the pronouncement of the judgment," the network said while thanking those who have assisted in their welfare.

"We call for the Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, together with two Judges of Appeal, Justice Rita Makarau and Justice Susan Mavangira to deliver the long-awaited ruling on the appeal."

The two were part of the 29 opposition activists who were arrested in December 2016 for allegedly participating in the murder
of the police officer.

They were arrested together with former MDC youth leader Solomon Madzore, Rebecca Mafikeni who later died in remand, as well as human rights activist Cynthia Manjoro.

Source - newsday