Bulawayo provincial magistrate Tinashe Tashaya has acquitted Deputy Mayor Tinashe Kambarami and Ward 4 Councillor Silas Chigora who were facing charges of assaulting Town Clerk Christopher Dube.
Magistrate Tashaya said the state failed to present a prima-facie case against the two councillors hence the court found no compelling evidence against them.
He said the evidence given by Dube was unreliable and incredible especially when compared to the evidence given by his colleagues Tobias Dube and Makhosi Tshalebwa in their statements which were presented by the councillors` lawyers.
Magistrate Tashaya said although the state realised the two statements were damaging to its case, it was supposed to bring the evidence before the court as the process is about prosecution not persecution.
“The State did not call any of these witnesses although they had taken their statements. It is clear and indisputable that these two statements were damaging to the state case as they are contrary to what the complainant was alleging,” said Tashaya.
“The State is supposed to bring to the court any evidence even that which is damaging to it’s case, but favourable to the accused persons. This is prosecution not persecution. The evidence of the complainant itself was so incredible and unreliable especially when weighed against the evidence of Dube and Tshalebwa. In light of the above I retain the verdict of not guilty and acquitted.”
The councillor`s lawyer Maqhawe Mpofu of Mlaudzi and Partners had challenged the authenticity of Dube’s testimony arguing that it was different from an account given by Dube and Tshalebwa in their statements.
Mpofu also challenged the discrepancies between the statement Dube gave to the police and the account he gave in court.
“Your Worship these are just fabricated allegations. Both statements which were recorded by the police as a form of assisting the State with investigations to the matter do not mention anywhere that there was physical contact between my clients and the complainant,” said Mpofu.
State allegations as presented by Leonard Chile, are that On July 11 2019, the two councillors assaulted Town Clerk Christopher Dube with open hands, fists and kicked him several times all over the body in his office.
Chile said the pair were in the company of Felix Mhaka, Tawanda Ruzive, Arnold Batirai.