GWERU-Midlands Provincial Magistrate, Beaulity Dube yesterday granted Patrick Cheza and four other CCC activists’ application for their trial to be heard on the 19th of December following the prosecution’s failure to provide them with State papers on time.
Granting the application, Magistrate Dube said “The State did not dispute that they did not serve state papers on the 7th of November as ordered by the courts.
It is also important that the accused persons’ rights for a fair trial as enshrined in the Constitution should be respected, hence the case should be deffered to a later date so that the accused persons will be provided with all necessary documents and prepare for the trial”.
She also ordered the state to serve Tourism Minister Barbra Rwodzi’s X-ray report to the defense counsel on December 9.
Through their Lawyers, Esau Mandipa of Mutatu & Mandipa Legal Practice and Leopold Mudisi of Mutendi, Mudisi & Shumba Legal Practitioners, Cheza (50), Elias Maduveko (26), Magmaster Chidyawuye (21), Delight Zinyemba (22) and Courage Mugova (20) submitted that the prosecution failed to uphold the court order, hence the need for another date to adequately prepare their defense.
“Your worship, the accused persons seek the trial to be heard on the 5th of January 2024 as the state did not serve us with the state papers on the 7th of November as directed by the courts. We only received the state papers on the 20th, hence we haven’t prepared enough.
“We also need the prosecution to furnish us with the X-ray of the complainant so that it can be interpreted together with the medical report by the accused persons doctor. The findings of the radiologist report can only be interpreted by the doctor, as such more time is needed your worship,” said Mandipa and Mudisi in their submission.
The state led by Taurai Mavuto and Ruvimbo Mutemeri opposed Cheza’s defense counsel application for stay of proceedings despite acknowledging that they had served the state papers to the accused persons 8 days later.
They accused the defense counsel for unnecessarily trying to delay the trial through frivolous application.
The trial was Initially slated to kick off on the 28th of November.
Cheza, who was charged alongside Maduveko, Chidyawuye, Zinyemba and Mugova are on bail for assaulting controversial Tourism Minister, Rwodzi who is also Chirumanzu South legislator.
Cheza is also accused of inciting CCC members to beat Rwodzi, after his car was allegedly involved in a car accident with the then Deputy Minister’s vehicle.
It is the state case that on August 24 along the Charandura-Chaka dust road, George Rwodzi, son to the Minister was involved in an accident with Cheza’s car which was being driven by John Bata.
George and Bata phoned Rwodzi and Cheza respectively following the accident.
After arriving at the scene, Cheza allegedly charged at Rwodzi and accused her of trying to kill members of his campaign team.
The other four accused who wielded iron bars and other weapons allegedly charged at Rwodzi.
Chidyawuye, who was allegedly armed with an AK 47, produced a knife and deflated the tyre of an Isuzu pick up before they assaulted Rwodzi.
The court heard that the four stopped the violence after Rwodzi’s aide fired a warning shot into the air.
The accused persons were later arrested at Charandura after being identified by one Gladys Chivige, who was with Rwodzi at the accident scene.