Eriezel Gondo (33) appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Shepherd Mjanja facing a charge of disturbing a public gathering.
The court heard that Gondo allegedly showed up at a Zanu-PF meeting where he told the attendees that “the youths are hungry and jobless” before he proceeded to a bottle store and allegedly asked patrons why they were “allowing Zanu-PF people to hold a meeting while people are hungry.”
Gondo, who is being represented by Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys, was remanded out of custody on ZWL$30 000 bail to December 13, 2022.
Sithole told the court that the police failed to do due diligence in the matter, as they had reported that Gondo was assaulted by the complainant, one Moses Charumbira who is the party secretary for security.
Sithole accused the police for selectively applying the law and giving Charumbira preferential treatment because he is a Zanu-PF affiliate.
He (Sithole) said Charumbira and an identified man assaulted Gondo and bundled him into the back of a car before taking him to the police.
“Your worship, we have a complaint against the police. They failed to execute a clear transgression that was done by Charumbira and an unidentified gentleman. After the commission of the alleged offence, they assaulted him and bundled him into a car. They said they will take him to CBD but ended going with him to the police station. This was reported to the police but nothing was done,” said Sithole.
“Charumbira is here at court, the investigating officer has been notified but no action has been taken because he belongs to Zanu-PF hence purported to be above the law. No one should be above the law and everyone should be protected by the same law. We pray that on our next appearance here we will get a comprehensive update on what would have been done to bring justice.”
Sithole said the charges are malicious and mere abuse of court process.
“This is an abuse of court process. My client went to talk to people who were not even at the meeting, in a bar. These charges are malicious. There is no evidence that he actually interrupted the meeting, he merely talked to people he was drinking with and was beaten for that,” he said.
“We pray that this court orders the State to investigate the complaints we have raised before we proceed with this matter. At least on our next appearance, we expect to get a comprehensive response to the issue.”
Magistrate Mjanja ordered the State to carry out investigations on the concerns raised by the defence before he remanded the matter.
The prosecutor narrated to the court that on November 12, 2022, at around 10 AM, Zanu-PF DCC Area 2 had a sanctioned inter-meeting at a sub-office situated at Mabhodoko shopping centre in New Magwegwe.
“At around 12 noon Gondo who was drunk arrived at the meeting and told them that they must disperse and the informant Cde Moses Charumbira, secretary for security rebuked him and asked to have the venue. The accused person complied. After 30 minutes he returned and uttered the following words. Ndoda kukunyorerai petition vanhu ve Zanu-PF munozviitisa. They chased him again and he returned after five minutes,” said the prosecutor.
“He said, “What are you talking about? The youths are hungry and jobless.” He left and went to zandlazonke bottle store and the informant followed Gondo. When he arrived he said to the patrons “Muri kurega ava ve zanu-pf vachiita musangano wavo isu tichifa nzara handei tose tinovarova.”
The prosecutor said Charumbira sought the reinforcement from a fellow party member Nkosilathi who is the secretary for transport to come and help him to apprehend Gondo whom they took to ZRP Magwegwe.