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Zaka 2008 election violence victims walk away empty handed

 

Alwis Mashiri


‘perpetrators’ walk scot-free as victims fail to get legal counsel

Clayton Shereni

ZAKA – Two
MDC Alliance activists who lost livestock to Zanu PF supporters in the violent run-up
to the 2008 presidential election re-run were recently left disappointed after
the court dismissed their case for lacking evidence, TellZim News has learnt.

Tongai
Mashingire and Alwis Mashiri did not have legal representation for the better
part of the case which spanned more than a year and got closed on November 23,
2020.

However,
the alleged perpetrators; Zvirevo Majoni, Sunamisai Chivamba, Cosmas Mapfumo
and Stephen Harudzibwi, who is now a Zanu PF Councillor for Ward 15, were fully
represented by James Makiya of Makiya and Partners.

The
complaints had pursued criminal charges against their alleged tormentors and
they had sought to be compensated for their lost property but their case was thrown
away by magistrates Florence Nago and Vimbai Mutukwa.

The
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Humans Rights (ZLHR), which normally represents victims of
political violence and persecution, did nothing to help this time around.

ZLHR,
however, recently helped the widow of slain Kelvin Tinashe Choto, win a $4.3
million suit against the government after her husband was gunned down by a
police officer during the January 2019 protests against fuel increase.

Of
late, ZLHR has been accused of pursuing an elitist agenda; giving priority and
prominence only to high-profile cases that attract a lot of limelight while
relegating genuine cases of legal need to mediocre representation or ignoring
them altogether.

Mashingire
and Mashiri said they were disappointed with the judgement which they want to
be reviewed by a higher court.

The
two who were at some point represented by local lawyer Derrick Charamba, who later
withdrew his services midway as the villagers could not supply him with the
fuel that he had requested for him to be able to drive from Masvingo city to
Jerera where the court sat.

Speaking
to TellZim News, Mashingire said although his case was rubbished, he had
evidence to pin down the perpetrators and would like to see them face the full
wrath of the law.

“The
magistrate agreed with the defense counsel that my evidence of a document which
Headman Sunamisai Chivamba signed when he agreed to give me back my beast was
not authentic and threw away my case. I have enough evidence and I want to take
this case forward but I lack support,” said Mashingire.

Mashiri
also echoed the same sentiments saying the basis which was used to dismiss
their case was not satisfactory.

“I
am not happy with the way the case was determined because I was denied entry
into the courtroom when the judgement was being delivered only to be later told
that my case had been dismissed. I am truly disappointed and I don’t even know
who to approach or what I should do next because I am not satisfied,” said
Mashiri.

Both
Mashingire and Mashiri who are MDC Alliance supporters in Ward 15, Zaka district,
said felt they were being persecuted for their support of the opposition in a
largely rural and Zanu PF-dominated district.

Mashingire
lost a beast, six 50kg bags of maize, two bags of groundnuts, one bucket
bambara ground nuts, five chickens while Mashiri lost a beast. They claim their
property was seized by marauding Zanu PF activists as punishment for their
support for then MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had just defeated then
president and now late Robert Mugabe in the first round of the election of
March 2008.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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