Socialist Worker

Shock revelations in Zimbabwe socialists' trial

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2277

In a shock development, lawyers defending the Zimbabwe “treason trialists” claim the main prosecution witness is a fraud.

The defence was finally able to start cross-examining the state’s top witness last week.

The state’s case against six activists relies heavily on evidence from an agent who infiltrated an International Socialist Organisation meeting in February.

He has been giving evidence as Detective Sergeant Jonathan Shoko of the Zimbabwe police.

Defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama has accused him of testifying under a false identity. He has provided evidence that the witness is really Rodwell Chitiyo, and asserts that Chitiyo is a member of Zimbabwe’s notorious CIO intelligence unit.

As such he was taking part in an spying operation to suppress opposition. The trial has been adjourned until 29 November.

The six are Munyaradzi Gwisai, Tafadzwa Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto.

They were among almost 50 people arrested at a meeting showing videos of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Initially they were charged with treason, which carries the death penalty.

The remaining defendants now face a charge of “conspiracy to commit public violence”, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

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Tue 8 Nov 2011, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2277
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