By Tanaka Mrewa and Senzeni Ncube
Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator, Gift Ostallos Siziba, and five other members have been arraigned before the courts facing charges of defacing a political poster and criminally insulting a party member.
The six, who are being represented by Tinashe Runganga of Tanaka Law Chambers, appeared before Western Commonage Magistrate Progress Murandu on Friday.
They were dragged to court by party member, Soneni Moyo, who had fielded as a double candidate for Phelandaba-Tshabalala Constituency, which was won by Siziba during the elections.
The six are Siziba (Phelandaba-Tshabalala) and Surrender Kapoikilu (Bulawayo Central), councillors Simbarashe Dube (Ward 20) and Lovewell Mwinde (Ward 14), former councillor, Alderman Earnest Rafamoyo and Tendai Masocha.
On the charge of defacing a political poster, Kapoikilu is not a co-accused while on the one for criminal insults, Mwinde is not a co-accused.
For the State, Denmark Chihombe told the court that the accused persons allegedly removed and tore Moyo’s poster at Phelandaba shops and further insulted her, calling her a sell-out and Mnangagwa’s prostitute.
Magistrate Murandu remanded both matters to September 29, 2023, and the accused persons will be out of custody.
“On August 11, 2023, at around 6 PM, the accused persons arrived at Moyo’s house in a motor vehicle. While at the gate, the accused persons, and others still at large, shouted in the Ndebele language “USoneni Ungumthengisi uthunywe ngu President Mnangagwa ukuti ayenze ukuchitiza abelliunga le Citizen Coalition for change ,uli wule lakhe”-loosely translated to say “you are a sellout sou have been sent by President Mangagwa to destroy and be a member of Citizens’ Coalition for Change, you are his prostitute. Sibongile Ndlovu, who is a neighbour witnessed this and phoned Moyo who was not at home. Moyo’s daughter, who was in the house when the incident occurred recorded a video,” Chihombe said.
“The State, on the second charge, will allege that on 16 August 2023 and at around noon, the accused persons who were travelling in a car stopped at Pelandaba shops and went on to remove and tear Moyo’s posters which were plastered on walls and ZESA pylons. While in the act, Methuseli Bhebhe saw them and phoned Moyo. Moyo went on to file a police report at ZRP Western Commonage.”
Runganga the lawyer further made an application to the court seeking a court order for Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to release a call history with geo-location to confirm the whereabouts of Siziba on August 16.
“Your Worship, may I make an application seeking a court order that we can take to Econet Wireless so that we may obtain call history that contains geo-location for one of my clients, Ostallos Siziba for August 16, 2023. It would be evidence that we can use on this matter,” Runganga said.
The State did not dispute the application and the magistrate granted the court order.