By Richard Muponde
There was drama at the Gwanda regional court yesterday after a doctor who was supposed to testify in a rape case was arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison or a fine of $20 for coming to court late.
Dr Lovemore Mbundinga stationed at Maphisa District Hospital was supposed to testify in the case of a female Zanu-PF Central Committee member from Matabeleland South who claimed she was raped in November last year.
The woman alleged Dylan Ndlovu raped her as she was coming from a beer drink with her aide and friends.
She told the court her friends had fallen into a trance when Ndlovu raped her at knife-point.
Dr Mbundinga and other State witnesses reported late for court.
The other witnesses gave an excuse of being cut off by flooded rivers. Dr Mbundinga told the court that the police had subpoenaed him for 2PM but failed to produce the subpoena, leading trial magistrate Mr Mark Dzira to confirm his warrant of arrest and default fine.
“Your explanation does not convince the court. The court is now confirming your warrant of arrest and default fine. Pay a fine of $20 failure of which you go to prison for 30 days,” said Mr Dzira.
The medical practitioner appeared confused as he seemed to have taken the issue lightly.
After giving his testimony, prison guards pounced on him as he left the witness box intending to go to the public gallery.
They whisked the doctor away to the holding cells.
Dr Mbundinga paid the fine and was subsequently released.
In the rape case, allegations are that on 11 November last year, the female politician was allegedly coming from a night spot in Maphisa around 12 midnight with her aide and three friends.
When they arrived at a football pitch, they started singing traditional songs and two of her colleagues fell into a trance.
She allegedly asked her aide to rush home and call her husband so that he could help her.
When the aide went way, it is alleged Ndlovu appeared on the scene armed with a knife and grabbed her by the neck.
He allegedly raped her once before he was caught red handed by the returning team.
Ndlovu allegedly fled into the darkness with his pants down.
The group made a report to the police and investigations led to his arrest.
The politician was taken to Maphisa District Hospital where Dr Mbundinga compiled a medical report.
Ndlovu is pleading not guilty. He is challenging the medical affidavit, saying it is not authentic as it was not commissioned.
He has applied for discharge at the close of the State case and will be back in court on Friday for a ruling on the application.
A lawyer from Mathonsi Law Chambers Legal Practitioners is representing Ndlovu while Mr Mncedisi Ndlovu is the prosecutor.The Chronicle