FARAI Zivogara (28), who was arrested last year reportedly at the orders of Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa for heckling him during a protest meeting against reverend Tititi Moyo, has been acquitted at the close of the State’s case.
Kwekwe resident magistrate Taurai Manwere threw out the matter in which the State accused Zivogara, Moyo’s employee, of annoying Mnangagwa by heckling the vice-president while he spoke during a meeting held at his Precab Farm in Sherwood last December for lack of evidence.
The ruling followed an application by Zivogara’s defence lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni, who accused police of fabricating charges against his client in an effort to curry favour with Mnangagwa.
He submitted to the court that police had fabricated evidence against his client as evidenced by contradicting versions which were given in court by the arresting officer, Sergeant Edson Mazivire and another police officer, Sergeant Knowledge Dube.
Mazivire told the court he arrested Zivogara immediately after he had finished interjecting Mnangagwa, because the then acting president ordered his arrest at that time.
“Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa instructed the police to arrest the accused just after he had finished speaking without getting permission from him, as he was the one chairing the meeting,” Mazivire testified.
Dube, however, contradicted that evidence and said Zivogara was only arrested after the meeting had ended, but not because Mnagagwa had ordered his arrest.
Mthombeni further submitted that the State had only brought two police witnesses to testify in a matter which had taken place at a public meeting attended by more than 100 people because they knew their case was a mere fishing expedition.
Manwere agreed with the submission made by the defence and cleared all the charges against Zivogara setting him free on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the State’s case that on December 22 2014, Zivogara rose and interjected Mnangagwa who was speaking during a meeting with the villagers who wanted the vice-president’s neighbour and former pastor ejected from his farm.
“While the acting president was addressing the crowd, the accused, who is one of reverend Tititi Moyo’s employees, stood up and without permission from the chairman (Mnangagwa) interjected the acting president, saying the allegations which were being raised against his boss were false and meant to tarnish Tititi’s emerge,” reads part of the State outline.