A MARONDERA magistrate yesterday invoked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s anri-violence mantra while sentencing two Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters accused of assaulting a Zanu PF supporter.
The CCC supporters Taurai Befura (47) and Dennis Chiradza (63) were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with six months suspended, with no option of a fine for assaulting a Zanu PF supporter in Mahusekwa on May 14, 2022.
No medical affidavit was produced in court as evidence of the assault. And the Zanu PF T-shirt that was said to have been torn during the clashes was not presented as an exhibit.
The two State witnesses also gave contradictory statements in court, with the complainant admitting that he was not injured.
But when passing the sentence, Marondera magistrate Esther Mabika said the duo was being charged with a violent offence that the court frowned upon, especially in the prevailing political climate.
She justified the sentence saying it would be a deterrent measure in line with the new dispensation and head of State’s mantra that political violence should not be tolerated.
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Mabika said given that the country has a history of political violence and the fact that the case had some political elements, the court intended to send a message to the accused persons and the rest of the community that political violence is not tolerated.
They were represented by Lynnet Phiri, of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.
According to the State, Befura and Chiradza assaulted Stephen Musengeyi at Chiriseri business centre with open hands and fists.
The court heard that on May 14, 2022, Musengeyi proceeded to Mudzimuirema School to watch a soccer match organised by Zanu PF.
In the company of Rodwell Makoni, Musengeyi went to Chiriseri business centre to buy food where they met Befura and Chiradza wearing CCC T-shirts.
Musengeyi, who identified himself as a Zanu PF supporter, stated that the two opposition supporters were seen wearing CCC regalia at the local shops.
He told the court that he approached one of the CCC supporters and told them to leave the place.
He told the court that there was a Zanu PF meeting at the shops that is why he wanted the pair to leave.
The other State witness, Makoni stated that there was no meeting at the shops but they were there to get some drinks and relax with friends.
Musengeyi told the court that Befura and Chiradza brought 10 or more unidentified persons and assaulted him. No medical affidavit was produced in court and Musengeyi stated that he did not suffer any serious injuries. Makoni also said there were no visible injuries on Musengeyi.
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