BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The trial of NewsDay senior reporter Blessed Mhlanga, who is accused of assaulting former Finance deputy minister during a radio show last year failed to kick off after the State failed to locate the docket.
Mhlanga, who is being charged together with his wife, Florence, was summoned to appear on trial yesterday by the State, which asked for a postponement because the presiding magistrate Eric Kadye was being transferred and could not take new matters.
Mhlanga then complained through his lawyer Chris Mhike and demanded that his matter be heard because the State could not summon him to court for a postponement. The State then told the court that they could not find the docket and then released, him saying they will proceed by way of summons.
Allegations were that on May 24, last year at SpotFM studio, Pockets Hill, Highlands, Harare, Mhlanga and Florence allegedly assaulted Mukupe by pushing him with open hands and pulling his jacket.
Mhlanga, however, alleges that Mukupe, who was in the company of his two bodyguards, was the one who actually attacked Mhlanga and stole his wife’s cellphone after a radio interview.
Mukupe was unhappy over a story published by NewsDay, after being captured on camera saying the army had forcibly grabbed power from former President Robert Mugabe in a coup in 2017, in an effort to block opposition leader Nelson Chamisa from taking leadership of the country.
Mhlanga then reported the assault and theft of property by Mukupe, then Harare East legislator to the ZRP at Highlands, but the police have taken a year to investigate the matter and have instead charged the victims.