The trial of incarcerated Kariba-based pastor, Patrick Mugadza, who is accused of abusing the Zimbabwean national flag by participating in a demonstration while draped in the national emblem, yesterday again failed to kick-off for the third time, as the court was overwhelmed with other matters.
The matter was remanded to February 20, when provincial magistrate, Lazini Ncube said it would be treated as a priority matter.
During the previous two hearings, the matter failed to kick off as a result of the shortage of judicial officers. But the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) moved in and resolved the situation resulting in a magistrate being appointed to handle the case.
The cleric’s defence counsel, Obey Shava, had at the last hearing, castigated the JSC for the delays, arguing his client would not receive a fair trial within a reasonable period.
Mugadza is currently being held at Harare Remand Prison over another matter in which he allegedly prophesied that President Robert Mugabe would die on October 17 this year.
Meanwhile, a 32-year-old human right activist, Denford Ngadziore, who is facing charges of convening an unsanctioned meeting calling for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology minister Jonathan Moyo’s citizen arrest, also appeared before the same magistrate and his matter was postponed to Monday.
The case was deferred, as the court indicated it was not ready to deliver a ruling on the suspect’s application for discharge at the close of the State case.
Ngadziore, who is on $100 bail, is also being represented by Shava.
Allegations against Ngadziore are that on October 17 last year, he went to the ministry’s offices, where he convened and addressed an unsanctioned gathering demanding the immediate arrest of Moyo over the alleged misappropriation of over $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
The State alleges Ngadziore, who was the convener, addressed the gathering without notifying the regulatory authority at the Harare Central Police District.
Mugadza trial in another false start
Author: Charles Laiton
Source: News Day