By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Showbiz |
Harare Regional magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro reserved sentence in the case of Arnold Kamudyariwa, popularly known as DJ Fantan, Chillspot Records co-founder, Levels aka Tafadzwa Kadzimwe, and Tinashe Chanachimwe popularly known as Dhama who are accused of organising an unsanctioned musical concert on New Year’s Eve, in breach of Covid-19 regulations.
The trio allegedly threw a musical bash at Mbare’s Matapi flats on the day, defying Covid-19 restrictions. Over 54 people were arrested after videos and pictures of the event went viral.
The trio pleaded guilty before magistrate Guwuriro who reserved sentence to Wednesday (today).
The State was led by Michael Reza being assisted by Teddy Kamuriwo while Tafadzwa Hungwe and Dumisani Mthombeni represented the trio.
State accused Fantan and colleagues of partaking and convening a public gathering during a national lockdown in contravention of section 5(3)(a) of Statutory Instrument 77 of 2020.
Hungwe started by submitting Dhama’s mitigation factors telling the court that he did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty, hence deserved to benefit from this.
“He is a youthful offender who should be kept away from prison where he is likely to be exposed to hardcore criminals
“He had no intention to host a superspreader event which was illegally attended by a crowd he lacked resources to dispose of
“Accused contemplates imprisonment and is suitable to pay a fine with a suspended sentence. He is also prepared to do community service at any government institution,” Hungwe said.
Mthombeni made submissions for Fantan and Levels jointly and told the court that Fantan surrendered himself to the police hence he complies with justice. Mthombeni added that, “he is the face of ghetto youths in Mbare who worked hard to achieve success through smart means.
“He surrendered himself to the police on Saturday morning where he was told to go back home and wait for a call. On Sunday he returned to Matapi police station where he was arrested after receiving no call,” he said.
On Levels, Mthombeni said, “levels is also a youthful first offender.
“He looks after his 96 year old grandmother, one child and his retired father.
“He has no means to a salary but operates a studio where they assist talented youths to secure their dreams free of charge.
“The two are playing a positive role in the community and a symbol of hope for all struggling ghetto youths in Zimbabwe.
“They are playing a commendable role of encouraging youths to desist from criminal activities and drug abuse,” he added.
Guwuriro could not arrive at the sentence arguing that she needed time to apply her mind judiciously before delivering the sentence by 9am tomorrow “Wednesday” when it would be ready.