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Published: April 9, 2013
Zimbabwe state prosecutors have smuggled in several fresh charges against fiery human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa whom they have previously found hard to pin down with their state case. The early charges were that she had allegedly attempted to obstruct justice while acting for her clients who belong to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party.
The new developments have seen a cluster of new foreign words and phrases which never existed before being drafted against Mtetwa who barely a few days ago was yet described by a High Court judge, Joseph Musakwa as a professional lawyer with no record of wrongdoing and one the police officers accusing her could have actually easily managed.
In a case that might end up embarrassing the Attorney General and the police force, papers drawn against Mtetwa were on Friday forwarded containing claims that she insulted the head of state, an offence which on its own attracts a six month jail term. The submitted papers read claiming that Mtetwa uttered the following: “ Stop whatever you are doing, it’s unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic. You confused cockroaches” as well as “Murimbwa dzaMugabe” which prosecutors have translated to mean “You are Mugabe’s dogs”.
But in the original submissions, Mtetwa had been recorded as having only stated: “Stop whatever you are doing, it’s unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic”.
The papers come after more than two weeks during which officers who arrested Mtetwa failed to write or submit their personal statements pertaining to the incident. No explanation was given for the long delays. Furthermore the very statements have still not been submitted to date in the original form that the charges were laid.
There was more drama on Monday when it was announced that there is now a new prosecutor on the case. Mr. Tawanda Zvekare, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the AG’s Office has since Monday taken the lead prosecuting role and will be assisted by Michael Mugabe, the chief law officer, as a duo of trial prosecutors.
The ZLHR(Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights) has revealed that the State has since lined up nine witnesses to testify against Mtetwa and these include Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage, Detective Constable Ngatirwe Mamiza, Detective Sergeant Taizivei Tembo, Assistant Inspector Thabani Nkomo, Chido Chawanikwa, a police officer, Stembiwe Vera, a caretaker at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and development office, Brian Mutusva, a computer technician in the PM’s Office and a driver, Zororai Mudariki.
Mtetwa was arrested on 17 March 2013 and charged with contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice.