Highfield East MP Erick Murai (MDC-T) and 11 of the 13 suspects arrested last November on charges of public violence, yesterday walked out of the Mbare Magistrates’ Court free after they were acquitted at the end of the State case.
But, presiding magistrate Shelly Zvenyika, however, ordered two of the suspects to be put to their defence on the basis that they were fingered by the first State witness in the commission of the offence.
Zvenyika said in light of the acquitted suspects, the State had failed to prove a case against them beyond reasonable doubt.
The court remanded the pair to Friday next week when they are expected to be put to their defence.
In her judgment, Zvenyika also said the State should have proved that each and every suspect had participated in the commission of the crime.
She further noted that the State did not bring anyone to give evidence that the activists had damaged their house on the day in question. Allegations against the 14 activists were that on November 8 last year, they attended an unsanctioned rally and pelted police officers with stones.
The court heard on November 2 last year, one Trouble Hasha, applied for permission at Mbare Police Station to hold a rally at Kazembe Rising Stars Primary School in Hopley, but the regulating authority did not approve of it. But, on the day in question, the activists proceeded to gather at the school with other MDC-T supporters, Murai included, dressed in their party regalia and upon being dispersed by the police, they turned violent, leading to their arrest.