Friday, 4 September 2015

Magaya Gossip: ‘Witness signed statement under duress’

COSMAS Mushininga, one of the four men accused of defrauding Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries of $116 000 in the importation of the church’s Land Rover Discovery 4, yesterday disowned his police warned-and-cautioned statement saying he had signed it under duress.

Mushininga, through his lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni, told Harare magistrate Noel Mupeiwa that he was threatened and coerced into signing the original statement by policedetectives.
Magaya Gossip: ‘Witness signed statement under duress’
He is jointly charged with Upenyu Mashangwa, Kudakwashe Larry Mapfumo and Clifford Tinashe Gonde in a case where they are alleged to have duped PHD leader Walter Magaya or alternatively smuggled and failed to pay duty for the vehicle.

“It (the police statement) is not his statement, but was forced on him by police and his constitutional rights were never observed when he was arrested,” Mthombeni said.

However, the State maintains that Mushininga was never threatened and gave his statement freely and voluntarily.

Detective Assistant Inspector Barnabas Murau and fellow officer Fusirai Zivengwa who recorded Mushininga’s statement denied using coercion to obtain the evidence.

“I did not threaten the accused and he denied the allegations soon after I informed him of the charges he faced and I recorded his statement,” Murau told the court.

He added: “I gave him the typed statement which he read and then later signed before I signed it and it was witnessed by Zivengwa.”

Zivengwa corroborated Murau’s evidence, but his testimony had some discrepancies on when Mushininga had his fingerprints taken and the number of times Murau had called him

before he turned up at the Serious Frauds offices.

The trial within a trial continues today with Mushininga expected to take to the witness stand in his defence. Liberty Gono is prosecuting the case. NewsDay. Copyright © Africa 24 News. All rights reserved. Distributed by Africa Metro Global Media ( To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, Click Here.

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