MDC Alliance Councillor for Masvingo urban Godfrey Kurauone, who was kept in prison without bail for 42 days has been acquitted on flimsy charges of obstructing the free movement of traffic and participating in an illegal demonstration.
Masvingo magistrate Patience Madondo said prosecutors had failed to prove their case and acquitted Kurauone.
He was arrested and accused of taking part in an illegal demonstration in Mashaba, about 20km away. Prosecutors said he was part of a group of protesters that blocked roads with stones and boulders.
He insisted that he was never in Mashaba on the day, and a doctor who examined him on July 24 and after his arrest on July 31 said he was medically not fit to have been involved in such a physically exerting activity.
“I would be surprised and would not agree that my patient blocked 500 meters of road using stones. I would put some question marks because he was complaining of abdominal pains and I don’t think that he was in a position to carry out that task,” said Dr Calvin Maimba.
Madondo said evidence by two State witnesses was inconsistent, with one of them failing to assert categorically the colour of the jacket that he claimed he had seen Kurauone wearing at the alleged crime scene.
The magistrate said the police investigation was also incompetent because investigators neglected to check at Kurauone’s house in Masvingo the moment they supposedly saw him in Mashaba to help dispel any possibility of mistaken identity.