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CSOs accuse police of shielding suspect

COULD NOT SAY MUCH—Maida

Civil society organisations (CSOs) under Mangochi CSO Network have taken to task Police in the district for discontinuing a defilement case involving Pastor Samson Manyozo who was arrested three months ago.

Some weeks ago, the Mangochi First Grade Magistrates’ Court discontinued the case against Manyozo on the basis that the victim and mother to the victim did not appear in court to testify.

But the CSOs say they have gathered information which indicates that the mother and victim were bribed to temporarily leave Mangochi and return later so that the case should be dismissed.

Vice Chairperson for the Network Dickens Mahwayo said the grouping would apply to the court to be part of the proceedings because they have information that there is something fishy which is preventing the case from progressing

“On Monday, we met the Officer-in-Charge for Mangochi Police Station and she has assured us that the case will be back in court. Our investigations show that the mother and the girl are now back at their home, hence there is need for the court to continue with the case,” he said.

Mahwayo said the CSOs are worried that most gender based violence cases are not being concluded in the courts because victims and their relatives are forced to withdraw the cases.

“This is affecting government and stakeholders’ push to end gender based violence especially targeting children. We want this case to be concluded so that it can act as a deterrent to others,” Mahwayo said.

He threatened that the CSOs will sue some officials whom he claimed are implicated in the plot to have the case dismissed.

In an interview, Mangochi Police Station Publicist Roderick Maida confirmed that the meeting with the CSOs took place on Monday.

But Maida said the police would not divulge more information as the issue is being handled by the court.

“I will only speak when the court concludes hearing of the case,” he said.

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