Court agrees to postpone CCC legislators trial to next month

A Western Commonage Magistrate Progress Murandu in Bulawayo granted a request made by lawyers for members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to postpone the case in which Pelandaba-Tshabalala MP Gift Ostallos Siziba and his Bulawayo Central counterpart Surrender Kapoikilu are accused of defacing a competitor’s campaign posters and singing outside her house.

Siziba and Kapoikilu alongside four other members including Ward 20 councillor Simbarashe Dube, Ward 14 councillor Lovewell Mwinde, former councillor – Alderman Earnest Rafamoyo, and party member Tendai Masotsha appeared in the West Commonage Magistrates Court for the continuation of their criminal trial.

The six are accused of defacing a political poster and criminally insulting a party member, Soneni Moyo, who ran as a double candidate in Pelandaba-Tshabalala against Siziba.

Tinashe Runganga of Tanaka Law Chambers who is representing the six asked the court to postpone proceedings since their request to Econet Wireless to provide Siziba’s call log history had not yet been met. 

“Your Worship, we ask that the matter be postponed to October 13,2023. We had requested a court order last time for us to be furnished with call history and location but it’s unfortunate that Econet Wireless refused to give us call history and location,” Runganga said.

“Econet Wireless insisted that it can only be given to the Investigating officer Tinashe Chapel, so the courts have directed that the Investigating officer goes to Econet and extract the call history and location.”

For the criminal insult charge, the defense noted that they needed more time because the State was still gathering more facts. 

Western Commonage Magistrate Progress Murandu then postponed the matter to October 13, 2023. 

According to the court papers, the prosecutor, Denmark Chihombe, said the accused persons allegedly removed and tore Moyo’s poster at Pelandaba shops and further insulted her, calling her a sell-out and Mnangagwa’s prostitute.   

“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 abelilunga le Citizen Coalition for Change. Uli wule lakhe,” -loosely translated to say ‘You are a sellout and have been sent by President Mangagwa to destroy and be a member of Citizens’ Coalition for Change. You are his prostitute.’”

The prosecutor said Sibongile Ndlovu, who is Moyo’s neighbour, witnessed this and phoned the complainant 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.”

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