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Master Peyi’s attempted murder trial kicks off

The trial of Mutare socialite, Pension Gwinyai (52), who is facing assault and attempted murder charges following last year’s public violence incident in which he allegedly hit a soldier with a vehicle at a bottle store in Dangamvura, has kicked off at the Mutare Magistrates’ Courts.

A Zimbabwean policeman patrols on February 17 2009 outside the entrance of Mutare Magistrates court (Desmond Kwande: Getty Images)
A Zimbabwean policeman patrols on February 17 2009 outside the entrance of Mutare Magistrates court (Desmond Kwande: Getty Images)

Popularly known as ‘Master Peyi’, Gwinyai is alleged to have seriously injured the complainant, Kudzai Nedziwe, during the commotion which left the latter unconscious after the alleged hit-and-run incident.

Gwinyai appeared before regional magistrate Mr Lucie-Anne Mungwari last week and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He said on the contrary, he was a victim of the complainant’s vicious attack. Allegations were that Gwinyai assaulted Nedziwe with fists after the complainant had tried to refrain him from assaulting another patron at the bar.

Public prosecutor, Mr Last Goredema, said as the complainant was leaving, he was intentionally hit from behind by Gwinyai’s vehicle.

“He drove at high speed and hit the complainant. The complainant went airborne and landed some few metres from the point of impact. He passed out and was admitted at 3 Field Hospital,” he said.

Police recovered the motor vehicle which was used in the commission of the crime. lt has a shattered windscreen and is parked at Dangavura Police Station.

lt will be used as an exhibit.

In his defence outline, Gwinyai, who is being represented by Mr Chris Ndlovu of Gonese and Ndlovu Legal Practitioners, is denying ever assaulting the complainant.

He said on the day in question he was drinking beer with his friends at the bar when he was alerted that his motor vehicle had been damaged by some revellers who were fighting.

He went to investigate and upon arrival, he observed that his car’s windscreen had been damaged.

Upon inquiry, the complainant was pointed out as the culprit who had caused the damage and hence Gwinyai approached him for an explanation.

Gwinyai says a visibly drunk Nedziwe failed to give a satisfactory explanation and a misunderstanding arose between them.

However, they were both restrained by other revellers. According to Gwinyai, he was then hit by a hard object as he returned to drinking beer with his friends. The assailant disappeared into the crowd and Gwinyai sustained a serious injury from the attack. Mr Ndlovu said his client drove off and spotted his assailant.

“He sublimely decided to stop him and effect a citizen’s arrest.

However, when the complainant noticed him, he ran down the road. My client followed him and caught up with him. It was clear that the complainant had no intention to stop. My client opened his door and used it to hit the complainant’s legs. The complainant tripped and fell down.

“Some of the complainant’s friends became belligerent claiming that the complainant had died. My client sped off from the scene and reported the matter at Dangamvura Police Station,” said Mr Ndlovu.

He argued that Gwinyai had no intention to murder Nedziwe, adding that the complainant was unnecessarily aggressive during the incident.

“In any event, the complainant did not suffer any life threatening injuries or harm. The medical affidavit is clearly doctored and ill-conceived,” he said.

The State called on Nedziwe to give an account of what transpired on the day in question.

The trial was adjourned to April 21.

Gwinyai is out on bail. Manica Post