NINE MDC–T activists who had been facing charges of assaulting the party’s former deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma have been acquitted.
Harare magistrate Milton Serima acquitted the party activists after ruling that the State had failed to prove a case against them.
Denford Ngadziore (32), Francis Machimbidzofa (38), Enock Mukudu (31), Samson Tumai Nerwande (41), Stefani Jahwi (36), Paul Gorekore (30), Shakespear Mukoyi (38), Rhino Mashaya (33) and James Chidhakwa (31) — from the party’s security department — had been accused of contravening Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 after they allegedly waylaid Mangoma at Harvest House — the party headquarters.
“Evidence from the State witnesses had inconsistencies. Evidence must be like the proverbial biblical scriptures in Matthew, Mark and Luke. It must flow,” Serima said.
The magistrate concurred with defence lawyer Douglas Mwonzora, who is also MDC-T spokesperson that the complainant did not recognise any of the alleged assailants whom Mwonzora said had come to restore order.
Mwonzora also argued that a video recording of the incident proved that none of his clients were involved in the alleged attack.
The State, represented by Venencia Mutake, had alleged that on February 15 this year at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the accused persons waylaid Mangoma outside Harvest House and allegedly confronted him as he tried to get into party president and former Premier Morgan Tsvangirai’s vehicle.
The court heard that the youths allegedly assaulted the former Energy minister in the unity government with open hands and clenched fists all over.
Mangoma is alleged to have suffered nose bleeding while his spectacles valued at $300 were damaged and his shirt was torn.
Mangoma was then whisked away in Tsvangirai’s vehicle. The four accused were arrested on February 25.