By Tendai Rupapa
Self-styled Harare prophet Gathry Chiredzero (popularly known as Madzibaba Gathry), who allegedly masqueraded as a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative and stalked President Mnangagwa while armed with a loaded pistol, yesterday made an application for refusal of further remand.
This is his fourth freedom bid after having previously made other applications which were thrown out.
Initially, he unsuccessfully made an application for release, arguing that he was over-detained by the military police.
He also made another application for bail, which was also dismissed.
The State alleges that Chiredzero positioned himself near the podium where the President was speaking at the swearing-in of Cabinet ministers at State House and at the renaming of King George VI Barracks to Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks in the capital.
Through his lawyer, Mr John Ndomene, Chiredzero made the application for refusal of further remand after the State had sought for a further postponement of the matter to May 16.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza sought for a postponement of the matter before Harare magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba on the basis that the State was yet to obtain two crucial witness statements
“We are applying for the matter to be remanded to May 16 in the interim. The docket is complete but there are two outstanding witness statements. We anticipate by May 8 the whole procedure would have been concluded,” he said.
However, Mr Ndomene accused the State of buying time.
“Your Worship, the State’s case is weak; they do not have a case against my client. Surely, the State cannot take five months to obtain just two statements,” he said.
The matter was rolled over to tomorrow for ruling.
According to the State, during the official ceremony to mark the renaming of King George VI barracks, Chiredzero approached the Zimbabwe Defence Intelligence personnel manning the main gate and identified himself and his accomplices as CIO Close Security Unit Officers deployed to beef up security to the President.
Chiredzero produced a fake CIO identity card bearing his names and as a result, they were allowed entry into the barracks.
He was subsequently apprehended by alert security agents.