Mugabe Said to Use Law as Political Tool
The diary also revealed that officials from ZANU-PF and Mugabe's office directly intervened in the case to deliver intelligence two days after Nkala's disappearance. That same afternoon, police raided opposition headquarters. What the diary described as an undercover "ferret team" started developing leads tying the activists, including Moyo, to Nkala's disappearance.
Accounts of beatings and torture also emerged during the testimony.
After hearing these and other stories, High Court Justice Sandra Mungwira ruled that the confessions and the police testimony were so tainted as to be inadmissible.
"In conclusion I would comment that overall the evidence of the State witnesses who are police officers is fraught with conflict and inconsistencies," the judge wrote in March. "The witnesses conducted themselves in a shameless fashion and displayed utter contempt for the due administration of justice to the extent that they were prepared to indulge in what can only be described as works of fiction."
Mungwira also held open the possibility that, as the defense claimed, government agents -- whom she called a "third force" -- had twisted the case to their own ends.
The following month, Moyo, Mpofu and Sibanda -- who had been denied bail for more than two years -- were freed from prison. The three other suspects had been given bail earlier.
Then, this week, prosecutors told the judge that they had no case remaining against five of the suspects, including Moyo. The sixth, Sibanda, still faces the possibility of prosecution when the case resumes on July 26.
Attorneys for all the defendants, however, say they are confident that their clients will soon be exonerated. If that happens, no one will have been brought to justice for the killing of either Nabanyama or Nkala.
Coltart, now a member of parliament, said: "This is the history of ZANU-PF in microcosm. They've used violence to achieve political objectives. . . . They have killed their own and portrayed it as an attack on their own by others."
Moyo is broke and sick, suffering from a variety of maladies including dizziness, weakness and headaches that he blames on the beatings he endured in police custody. He fears more violence leading up to the national elections in March.
"This next coming election will be the killing election," Moyo said. "People will die."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company