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Cheza assault trial kicks off

-accused of damaging a US$3 Itel pouch, US$1 book for FAZ member

MARTIN MAWAYA

THE trial of four Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists being charged with malicious damage to property, assault and robbery has kicked off.

Two witnesses testified when the quartet appeared before Gweru Provincial Magistrate, Tavengwa Sangster.

Patrick Cheza (50), Tinashe Moyo (47), Tanyaradzwa Marimbe (23) and Alex Gamuchirai (37) are jointly accused  of assaulting Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) members Justice Dzaguma and Nhamo Muzembi  at Rupepwe Primary School and Shashe Primary School in Chirumanzu.

The state alleges that on May 31, 2023, the four together Elias Madhuviko (26) who is on the run, assaulted FAZ members at voter’s inspection centers and robbed them of US$50.

The court heard that the five damaged an Itel cellphone pouch valued at US$3 belonging to Philemon Madzivanyika at Mazvimba Primary School.

Further allegations are that the five disturbed a voter’s roll inspection exercise at the Mazvimba Primary School.

But under cross-examination by Cheza’s defence lawyers Esau Mandipa of Matutu & Mandipa Legal Practice and Leopold Mudisi of Mutendi, Mudisi & Shumba Legal Practioners, the complainant (Madzivanyika) and the second State witness Francis Coneck Manenji gave conflicting statements on the role played by the accused persons in the alleged scuffle.

The complainant told the court that Cheza, Marimbe and Gamuchirai never touched or destroyed his phone but insisted that accused number two (Moyo) crushed his Itel cellphone.

However, the second witness Manenji who is a neighborhood watch member testified in the contrary to the complainant, exonerating Cheza and Moyo from any wrong doing but attested that Gamuchirai and Marimbe violently dragged Madzivanyika but never assaulted him.

Manenji added that he never saw the complainant with a cellphone.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Sangster  on Wednesday is expected to deliver a ruling on whether the case for Cheza and  Christopher  Mutovoni should go for trial or not.

The two are charged for tearing a counter book valued at US$1 belonging to another FAZ member, Julius Kunodziya.

The duo defense counsel Mandipa and Mudisi applied for acquittal arguing that “the case is trivial and does not need the court’s attention”.

Taurai Mavuto prosecuted.

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