TWO MDC-T youth members yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court charged with assault after allegedly battering a top police officer for parking his vehicle at one of the bays reserved for their party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, at Harvest House in Harare.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Gresham Mpofu (40) and Muchi Chiwara Muzengeza (39) pleaded not guilty to the assault charge when they appeared before provincial magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta.
The complainant, Isaac Machesa, who is based at the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) told the court he was assaulted for parking without “paying” parking fees at corner Angwa Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue.
But Muzengeza and Mpofu denied the charges, saying the police officer hated them and they were arrested while crossing Julius Nyerere Way on their way to attend a meeting at Harvest House while dressed in party regalia.
They told the court they initially thought they were being arrested in connection with illegal vending inside their party’s corridors.
The duo is being represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Obey Shava.
However, a State witness and employee at a nearby pharmacy, whose identity has been withheld, told the court the police officer was lying.
He testified that he never saw the pair assaulting the officer.
It is the State’s case that on January 18 this year and at around 6pm, Mpofu and Muzengeza were in the company of their alleged accomplice, who is still at large, and were busy controlling parking spaces and making motorists pay at the corner of Angwa Street near MDC-T headquarters.
It is alleged Machesa, who was in police uniform, parked his Nissan Navara on one of the parking bays along Angwa Street and walked towards the pharmacy.
It is alleged as he was about to enter the pharmacy, he was approached by Mpofu and Muzengeza, who allegedly demanded him to remove his vehicle or alternatively pay parking bay fees.
The court heard Machesa refused to pay and the duo started assaulting him using umbrellas all over his body and threatened to deflate his vehicle.
The two then left as Machesa entered the pharmacy and after buying his medication, it is alleged, he saw Mpofu and Muzengeza waiting for him outside and he reported the matter to his office using his mobile phone.
Some police officers reacted to his call and arrived at the scene, leading to the duo’s arrest.