Kidnap and assault magistrate acquitted
By Michelle Gwizi
Esigodini resident magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa has been acquitted of assaulting and kidnapping his maid.
Muchemwa, through his lawyer Mr Tanaka Muganyi of Tanaka Law Chambers, had denied the charges and applied for a discharge at the close of State case on Tuesday.
Harare regional magistrate Mrs Lucie-Anne Mungwari, sitting at the Tredgold Magistrates’ court in Bulawayo, yesterday dismissed the case on the grounds that State witnesses gave inconsistent statements about what transpired.
“The State called evidence of the witnesses and the information they gave was to be considered in making the final ruling.
“There was no evidence to prove the assault from the analysis of the statements and what was said in court.
“Referring to what the complainant gave to the court, she mentioned that she was assaulted for an hour and sustained bruises but the doctor did not indicate that on the medical report.
“This shows the court that she is untruthful. She completely changed the whole story during cross examination.
“Complainant said she was locked in the house, yet the police found her doing her chores in the form of laundry outside the house she had claimed she was locked in. This has left the court wondering if ever she was locked inside.
“This has also made the kidnapping allegations to remain without substance as at first the investigating officer said they had not recorded the charge.
“If ever she was kidnapped how would she be free to go and buy airtime as one witness told the court that there is a time she called the complainant who told her that she was at the shops buying airtime.
“Therefore the application for a discharge at the close of the State case is granted,” said the magistrate.
Muchemwa (35) of Hillcrest suburb in Bulawayo was said to have assaulted his maid, Ms Shaymore Musendekwa (20), at the instigation of his wife.
His application for discharge was based on what he termed “inconsistencies in the State witnesses’ testimonies.
“One wonders how three people would come up with three different versions of the same incident. It is strange that there can be three truths of the same incident, in fact that is impossible,” said Muchemwa through Mr Muganyi.
Prosecuting, Mr Thobekani Nyathi said on May 8 last year at around 4.20PM, Ms Musendekwa intended to bathe Muchemwa’s children and when they refused to comply, she told their mother, Mrs Petronella Muchemwa.
He said instead of rebuking her defiant children, Mrs Muchemwa accused the maid of troubling her children before she reported the complainant to her husband through a phone call.
Mr Nyathi said the accused person arrived home shortly after 5PM and allegedly indiscriminately assaulted the complainant with a belt several times all over the body.
Three days later, he said, the accused person allegedly ordered the victim to lock the gate to the house before she handed over the keys to him.
The complainant phoned her aunt, Ms Primrose Gwese, who in turn reported the matter to the police leading to Muchemwa’s arrest. The Chronicle