HARARE – An MDC activist accused of murdering a cop at the party’s Harvest House headquarters has disputed a further assault charge saying police officers fabricated the case to nail him.
Barnabas Mwanaka is being charged with obstruction of justice or alternatively assault before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba.
He allegedly slapped a cop in a bid to stop him from arresting a kombi driver who had reportedly dropped off passengers at an undesignated point.
Through his lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, Mwanaka applied for discharge at the close of the State case, arguing that the prosecution team had failed to prove essential elements of the preferred charges.
“From the evidence led, there is no indication that when (police officer) Leonard Mugura was allegedly slapped, he was executing a specific duty as a police officer. The State case is founded on falsehoods and no reasonable court can safely act on it,” Bhatasara argued.
“The evidence of State witnesses contradicted each other on material aspects. There is no reason to believe that accused person, if put to his defence, will furnish any evidence that will make the State witnesses evidence believable or reliable.
Prosecutor Idah Maromo argued that Mwanaka deliberately committed the offence and knew that Mugura was a cop.
“It is crystal clear that the accused person knew that Mugura was executing his duties since he was clad in police uniform which every Zimbabwean citizen is aware of,” Maromo argued.
“From the totality of evidence on record, it is clear that the State has managed to prove a prima facie case as required at law.”