FORMER Makoni South legislator Pishai Muchauraya (MDC–T) was yesterday convicted of threatening his political rival, Geoffrey Nyarota, and his aunt, Sophia Chibayambuya, with death and ordered to pay $200 or spend 20 days in jail.
Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe ruled that Muchauraya held a position of authority as an MP that obliged him to act with maturity and avoid “sliding back into the barbarity of violence”.
Prosecutor George Manokore had urged the court to impose a stiffer sentence, saying threats on human life were a serious offence that called for a deterrent sentence. He said a fine would trivialise the case and dent the public’s confidence in the country’s judicial system.
Muchauraya’s lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, however, asked the court to consider a fine since the offence would not attract over 24 months’ imprisonment. He also said a custodial sentence would be a severe form of punishment with catastrophic consequences on Muchauraya and his immediate family.
Muchauraya was accused of breaching section 186 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, after issuing death threats to Nyarota and Chibayambuya while campaigning ahead of their party’s primary elections on February 28.