Fugitive MDC-T Activist Rearrested After 19 Years

FUGITIVE MDC-T activist Sairasi Soromoni Chikohwero who had been on the run since 2003 was arrested at the just-ended party’s congress in Harare at the weekend for allegedly murdering a Zanu PF youth leader, Ali Khan Manjengwa, in 2002 at the height of political campaigns.

He appeared in court yesterday and was remanded in custody.

Chikohwero ran away from the court’s jurisdiction sometime in 2003.

He was appearing in court along with six other MDC-T activists.

The State led by Mr Michael Reza yesterday applied for confirmation of his warrant of arrest on murder charges.

Mr Reza applied that Chikohwero be remanded in custody pending trial.

“The accused was arrested in 2002 for murdering Ali Khan Manjengwa at the height of political campaigns.

“He was part of the group that murdered Manjengwa and appeared in court. They ran away and a warrant was issued in 2003. The investigating officer advised me that he came to check for the records after they arrested accused on December 27 with intention to pick up the warrant of arrest.

“He advised me that the records were transferred to National Archives,” he said.

Chikohwero challenged his detention saying the State wanted to charge him twice for the same offence. He said he only decided to run away following an attempt on his life.

“The accused is already on remand on murder of Ali Khan Manjengwa. He challenges the legality of his arrest and detention.

“The State is not truthful and want to give an impression that he never appeared when in fact he did appear and already on remand. It is unlawful to charge him twice. There was an attempt to his life and he fled,” he said through his lawyer.

It is alleged that on August 22, 2002 Chikohwero and his accomplices went to Manjengwa’s place of residence; Block 5 Nenyere Flats, Mbare in Harare.

One of the gang members allegedly shot Manjengwa in the head and died on the spot.

The gang was arrested and taken to court.

Chikohwero later fled from the court’s jurisdiction.

Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko ruled in the State’s favour and remanded Chikohwero in custody to January 11 for his routine remand.

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