Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
BULAWAYO Deputy Mayor Councillor Tinashe Kambarami and Ward Four Councillor Silas Chigora who were jointly accused of assaulting the Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube, were yesterday discharged at the close of the State case.
Clrs Kambarami and Chigora were alleged to have assaulted Mr Dube while serving him with a letter of suspension last month. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges, arguing that they were fabricated.
Bulawayo magistrate, Mr Tinashe Tashaya, acquitted the two councillors of assault charges following an application for discharge by their lawyer Mr Maqhawe Mpofu of Samp Mlaudzi and Partners.
Mr Tashaya said the complainant’s testimony could not be relied upon as it was not credible and truthful.
“In his evidence, the complainant narrated to the court how he was assaulted and the accused persons denied the charge, saying they only served him with a suspension letter. It is clear and not disputed that the evidence by the two State witnesses was damaging to the State case as they contradicted the complainant’s version. Clearly, their testimonies did not corroborate with the evidence of the complainant, which in itself was not credible and reliable,” he said.
The magistrate said the State failed to prove a prima facie case against Kambarami and Chigora.
“In light of the above, the State has failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused persons and I hereby retain a verdict of not guilty and accordingly, they are acquitted,” ruled Mr Tashaya.
In his testimony, Mr Dube alleged Clr Kambarami and Clr Chigora stormed into his office “movie-style,” slapped, punched and kicked him.
He said a senior security officer, Mr Tobias Dube and Makhosi Tshalebwa came to his rescue before Clrs Kambarami and Chigora sought reinforcements from fellow councillors.
In cross-examining Mr Dube, Mr Mpofu challenged the authenticity of his testimony, arguing that it differed from an account given by Messrs Tobias Dube and Tshalebwa in their statements.
Mr Mpofu also challenged the inconsistencies between the statement the complainant gave to the police and his evidence in court.
Prosecuting, Mr Leonard Chile said on July 11 at around 2.30PM, the accused persons went to Mr Dube’s office at the City Hall with intentions of giving him a suspension letter.
“The two councillors were in the company of other councillors namely Felix Maka, Clayton Zana, Tawanda Ruzive, Pilate Moyo, Lillian Mlilo, Batirayi Dube and Jabangwe.
As they handed over the suspension letter to the Town Clerk, an argument broke out between them as the Town Clerk refused to abide by the suspension letter,” Mr Chile said.
The court heard that the argument resulted in Clr Kambarami and Clr Chigora teaming up and assaulting Mr Dube all over the body.
The other councillors who were present assisted in shoving the complainant out of office.
The prosecutor said the complainant sustained injuries due to the assault and was referred to hospital where a medical report was compiled. —@mashnets