THE case of Zanu PF Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna’s unlawful discharging of a firearm in a public place has taken a new twist, with the legislator accusing magistrate Judith Taruvinga of using riot police to deny him legal representation.
By Everson Mushava
Nduna, who is seeking to have the case reviewed, told the High Court that when he was arguing the postponement of his case, Taruvinga called a number of police officers into the gallery.
“Having been told to sit down (by the magistrate) and only to speak when given an opportunity to do so, the next thing to happen dramatically at court was the arrival of armed police officers in riot gear,” Nduna said in court papers.
“They ordered everyone out of the court and filled the court gallery themselves. Some came to the dock and sat side-by-side with us and some behind us. They were about 18 of these police officers, and at one moment, I mistook the events for a nightmare.”
He added: “It was apparent that the second respondent had commandeered the presence of armed police officers not at the courtyard, but in the court gallery to cow me and to force me into submission. I froze in the dock and hardly concentrated on the proceedings relating to my co-accused. The atmosphere in court was tense. This cannot be a fair trial by any standards.
“The weaponry carried by the police officers that I saw included three FN rifles fully loaded with 20 rounds each, six .9mm pistols that were being brandished in the open by plain clothes policemen. Two of these police officers that I managed to identify are Constable Nyamukapa in plain clothes and Constable Sibanda. Those who were not armed, but had teargas canisters and baton sticks.”
He added that his co-accused failed to narrate their side due to the presence of police.
Nduna and his co-accused Munyaradzi Simango (30) and Takemore Maphosa (18) face charges of public violence and discharging a firearm during Zanu PF primary elections in May this year.
Allegations are that Nduna and his supporters engaged in violence at Chinengundu Primary School, which led to the injury of one person.
The legislator allegedly fired five rounds of ammunition from a .9mm pistol.
The skirmishes were reportedly triggered by a misunderstanding between Nduna and his rival in the Chegutu West constituency primary elections.