BY LIFE & STYLE REPORTER
EDZAI Isu Trust has suspended its director Tafadzwa Muzondo, who recently appeared in court facing charges of indecent assault after allegedly fondling songbird Pauline Gundidza’s breasts during a function in Highfield, Harare last week.
Programmes officer Obrien Makore will be the acting director.
Muzondo was remanded to April 16 on $100 bail when he appeared before Mbare magistrate Stanford Mambanje on Wednesday.
Edzai Isu chairperson Patience Gamuchirai Tawengwa said in a statement yesterday that Muzondo would be on suspension pending the outcome of the court case, with the organisation also conducting its own hearing on the matter.
“The matter is before the courts and as we eagerly await for the outcome, we have suspended him pending the outcome of the case,” she said.
“As an organisation, we do not condone violence in whatever form, so we are taking this case seriously and expect him to clear his name in court before he can continue his duties. We will also constitute our own internal hearing as soon as the court case is finalised.”
Tawengwa said they observed the principle that a person was presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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“In that regard, we will not second-guess the courts and will wait on the outcome of the case before issuing out further statements,” she said.
Tawengwa said the board was also committed to facilitating the formulation of an arts industry sexual harassment policy under the guidance of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC).
“Over the years, the trust has always intentionally sought to create a safe space for female artistes,” she said.
When Muzondo appeared in court this week, prosecutor Lawrence Gangarahwe alleged that on March 28, Gundidza was at Action Hub Studio where she had been invited as a guest alongside other artistes.
The court heard that after the function, as Gundidza awaited transport with her friends, Mariane Kunonga and Rolland “Boss Kedha” Lunga, Muzondo allegedly remarked that Gundidza had beautiful breasts.
This annoyed the urban groover who then told her friends what had happened.
Kunonga and Boss Kedha allegedly warned the accused that it was not right to comment on someone’s breasts without her consent.
It is, however, alleged that Muzondo leaned towards the musician and fondled her breasts before going back to join his crew.