I never heard Cheza inciting violence against Minister: Rwodzi body guard


GWERU-Tourism Minister Barbra Rwodzi’s  aide has exonerated Patrick Cheza of inciting opposition activists to assault the Chirumhanzu South legislature when their vehicles were involved in an accident along the Chaka-Charandura Road last year.

On Thursday, Cheza (50), Magmaster Chidyawuye (21), Delight Zinyemba (22), and Courage Mugova (20) appeared before Gweru Provincial Magistrate, Beaulity Dube.

 They were charged with inciting public violence and assaulting Minister Rwodzi.

During cross-examination, Tafadzwa Nyamaharo, the Central Intelligence Officer attached to Minister Rwodzi, was quizzed by defense counsel Leopold Mudisi and Esau Mandipa.

Nyamaharo told the court that he did not hear Cheza inciting his supporters to assault the Minister when grilled by the defense counsel.

“I did not hear the first accused person inciting his supporters to beat the Minister or engage in violence. When he arrived at the accident scene, he only shouted, ‘You had won, why do you want to kill my children,” he said.

He added that he did not see the accused persons holding weapons or attacking Rwodzi.

Nyamaharo testified that he saw someone who was not among the accused persons wearing a yellow T-shirt kicking the Minister, and a man in a red T-shirt produced a knife while Rwodzi was on the ground.

However, “when Rwodzi testified in court, she stated that she fell down while dodging a knife from a man wearing a red T-shirt.

She did not mention being kicked by a man in a yellow T-shirt,” queried defense counsel Mandipa.

The lawyer argued that Nyamaharo’s statement was inconsistent and did not corroborate the complainant’s initial evidence.

Mandipa poked holes in Nyamaharo’s testimony and told the court that Rwodzi never mentioned being kicked by a man wearing a yellow T-shirt.

Furthermore, the CIO detail disowned his typed statement, which included the names of the accused persons, stating that he only knew them by face and not by name, as mentioned in the contradictory statement.

The defense counsel also questioned investigating officer, Sergeant Thulani Ndlovu, accusing him of forging Anna Matongo’s statement and doctoring evidence.

Matongo disowned one of her statements when she took the witness’ stand, claiming that she did not sign the typed statement.

Mudisi questioned the police’s conduct in the case, adding that Ndlovu as the investigating officer failed to discharge his duties impartially.

Ndlovu presented a flick knife in court as evidence, claiming that it was recovered from the second accused and was used to puncture the Minister’s vehicle tyres.

However, when grilled by the defense counsel, he failed to provide further details or substantiate how the knife was used in the commission of the offense without the forensic report.

Counsel Mudisi accused Ndlovu of being biased, inconsistent, and an unreliable witness.

Additionally, Ndlovu could not explain why his witness statements recorded on the same day and at the same time differed.

The lawyers further exposed Ndhlovu’s  inconsistencies particularly on how  Chivige came to Charandura police station.

In his evidence in chief, the investigating officer asserted that Chivige was invited to the police station but in the recorded statement, Ndlovu wrote that the police picked her up from her home.

Counsel Mandipa reminded Ndlovu that during the bail application for the accused, he had told the court that Rwodzi was reluctant to give a statement and had indicated that she would handle the issue her own way.

The defense counsel told Ndlovu that he cannot change the court recorded statement, by claiming that he had recorded part of the Minister’s statement.

The case was adjourned to June 11, for trial continuation.

Taurai Mavuto and Monica Mungwena prosecuted.

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