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Barbara Rwodzi's assault case takes new twist

by Staff reporter
03 Sep 2023 at 07:32hrs | Views
Lawyers representing Citizens Coalition for Change (Chirumanzu South losing candidate, Patrick Chez  and four others, who are accused of assaulting Tourism deputy minister Barbara Rwodzi have questioned the police's conduct in the case.

Cheza (50) on Friday appeared before Gweru provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe on Friday charged with inciting public violence.

 He is charged alongside Elias Maduveko (26), Magmaster Chidyawuye (21), Delight Zinyemba (22) and Courage Mugova (20).

Cheza is accused of inciting CCC members to beat Rwodzi, who is also the Zanu-PF Chirumanzu South MP elect  after his car was involved in an accident with the deputy minister's vehicle.

 In a video  played in court during the bail application, defence lawyers Esau Mandipa and Leopold Mudisi questioned the impartiality of the police while cross-examining investigating officer Sergeant Thulani Ndlovu of the Gweru Law and Order section.

 The lawyers said following the accident both Rwodzi and Cheza were called to the accident scene and tempers flared between their supporters.

They argued that the accident resulted in disorderly conduct between supporters of the two parties and that could not be qualified as public violence.

 The lawyers said after the heated exchange between Zanu-PF and CCC supporters and subsequent attempts to resolve the matter by both Rwodzi and Cheza, it was surprising that police went on to only arrest CCC members.

 Ndlovu was also asked why he said Rwodzi was said to have been seriously injured when the MP elect in her statement said she had minor bruises.

The lawyers submitted that Ndlovu or any other police officer could not ascertain the complainant's health condition as they were not medical experts.

 When the lawyers  asked for a medical report, Ndlovu said he could not hurry doctors who were checking on Rwodzi.

 In a video played in court, one of Rwodzi's aides was seen wielding a gun.

Prosecutors say on August 24 along the Charandura-Chaka dust road, George Rwodzi, son to the MP-elect 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.

It is alleged 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.

 The bail application for the five continues tomorrow.

Source - The Sunday News
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