THE trial of former National Housing minister Giles Mutsekwa and his three alleged accomplices in a case where they assaulted fellow MDC-T member in the run-up to last year’s harmonised elections continued on Tuesday with the former minister denying the charge and claiming to be a victim of internal party fights.
Mutsekwa told trial magistrate Noah Gwatidzo that he was not involved in the alleged assault of MDC-T’s Mutare ward 9 councillor Chrispen Dube.
The court heard that Mutsekwa was in the company of Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhamarare, Kingston and Raphael Mutandi.
The State alleges that the four assaulted Dube on June 7 last year accusing him of decampaigning Mutsekwa who was battling against party rival Arnold Tsunga in the Chikanga-Dangamvura constituency that was subsequently won by Tsunga.
Charges against the four are that on June 7, Dube was outside Zesa’s Megawatt Building in Mutare when he was approached by Mutsekwa and Kingston Mutandi, who were in a Toyota Prado vehicle.
Mutandi is alleged to have disembarked from the vehicle and confronted Dube accusing him of decampaigning Mutsekwa from being confirmed as the party’s candidate in the elections.
According to the State, Mutsekwa incited the other three accused persons to deal with the complainant.
It is alleged that Mutandi grabbed Dube by the collar and head-butted him once.
It is at this moment that the State alleges Nhamarare and Raphael Mutandi joined in the assault hitting the complainant with fists and kicked him all over after they had tripped him to the ground.
As a result of the alleged mob attack, Dube sustained cuts on the upper and lower lips, five loosened teeth, painful left elbow, painful left hip and bruises.
Through his lawyer Chris Ndlovu, Mutsekwa said he was nowhere near the scene of the crime as his vehicle was being driven by his official ministerial driver Lawrence Kachipare. Kingston Mutandi claimed that they fought with Dube and overpowered him while Nhamarare said he only restrained the two from fighting and Raphael Mutandi said he was not at the scene. The trial will continue on January 17 as more witnesses are set to testify.