Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri have dismissed video evidence from State witness Detective Chief Inspector Richard Muvhuro as “a story of ghosts” which is of no assistance to the court.
The two appeared before Chief magistrate Faith Mushure on Friday in the ongoing case where they are accused of faking their abduction after an opposition protest in Harare two years ago.
Prosecutors are using the video which was secured from CCTV at a Chicken Inn fast food outlet in Harare as proof that the two were in the capital at the time they claim to have been abducted, tortured and raped.
Defence lawyer Alex Muchadehama trashed the video, saying it was unreliable and misleading for the court.
“I put it to you that what you produced before the court is a ghost story. (nothing) is not visible; just ghosts from Chicken Inn,” he said.
“Your evidence before this court is just a story about ghosts. Confirm that you had to zoom for the video to become visible.”
The State witness confirmed that the video had incorrect times since it was 19 minutes ahead of the actual time the events were supposed to have happened.
Muvhuro however explained that the person who set up the CCTV system had not corrected the time.
For the defence, Muchadehama told the court that the video was of such poor quality that it could not be relied upon in court.
“From the Chicken Inn footage it was not clear since it could be any car; also the colour was not clear and the registration number was not visible,” added Muchadehama.
“Looking at the video you could not tell whether the person is male or female or what they are dressed in.”
The case was postponed to August is15 for trial continuation.
The two women described torture, humiliation and repeated sexual assaults after being allegedly being abducted by suspected state security services in May 2020.
They were reportedly arrested at a roadblock guarded by police and soldiers at a protest in Harare against the state’s failure to provide for the poor during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.
They then disappeared until they were found on a roadside two days later close to 100 kilometres away from the capital by a local man, badly injured and traumatised.