CHINHOYI — Zanu PF Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka on Monday stunned the court when she said she was unable to read as she had only reached Grade Two.
Mahoka made the startling disclosure while giving evidence during the trial of politician-cum-businessman Temba Mliswa and nine other accused persons charged with public violence.
Allegations against the 10 are that on February 22 this year at Zimonja business centre in Zvipani, Hurungwe West, accused persons acted in connivance with others who are still at large and attacked Mahoka, injuring her and her entourage.
The suspects allegedly used bricks, fists and booted feet to assault the MP and her driver before deflating two tyres of her vehicle. Mahoka claims she sustained a broken leg.
Mliswa’s lawyer Musindo Hungwe had sought to establish the MP’s level of education, arguing her ability to comprehend questions asked during cross examination were not consistent with her “Honourable” status as MP.
“I have repeatedly told this court that I went up to Grade 2 and, therefore, I cannot read,” Mahoka told the court, skirting interrogation whether she had perused her own statements recorded by police. Mliswa and his co-accused are denying the charges.
In his defence, Mliswa said he was not present at the scene of the crime, but was in Harare on the day in question and, therefore, could not be held accountable for any events that allegedly took place in his absence.
Mliswa charged that Mahoka wanted to destroy his political career.
“The charges are trumped up and have been brought at the instance of a political foe with whom there is bad blood with accused one who is bent on tarnishing the first accused’s image, destroying his political career so as to further the interests of her friend who is eyeing to contest on a Zanu PF ticket for Hurungwe West constituency,” Mliswa’s lawyer alleged.
Lawyer Mike Mutsvairo representing Goodwell Zinyama (49), Simbarashe Mamina (30), Christopher Munakira (35), Munyaradzi Mutami (33), Judge Makwava (34), January Mapfundematsva (37) and Matilda Makwanya (33), denied his clients unleashed violence against the lawmaker, but came across her as they superintended developmental projects in the constituency spearheaded by Hurungwe Development Association before she confronted them and indiscriminately sprayed them with pepper, accusing them of disrupting her meeting.
But Mahoka, who is also Zanu PF Mashonaland West Women’s League chairperson, argued she was in the area to address Zanu PF members on the just-ended constitutional referendum and to conduct other party business in line with her position as Zanu PF women boss.
The MP also alleged accused two, Zinyama, had, during the melee at the crime scene, made utterances that Mliswa had connived with senior Zanu PF politician Ignatius Chombo to kill her and had been instructed to bring her head and dump the torso at the scene.