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Stunner acquitted of assault, magistrate says ‘relationship had turned sour’

Harare magistrate Evelyn Mashayakure has acquitted Zimbabwean rapper Desmond Chideme popularly known as Stunner in the matter he was accused of assaulting his wife Dyonne Tafirenyika.

In acquitting the Urban Grooves artist the magistrate ruled that the couple’s relationship had “turned sour” adding that there was no evidence to prove that Stunner had assaulted his wife.

“It is noted that the parties’ relationship had turned sour. There was also a matter that the accused believed that his wife was cheating,” the magistrate said.

“It is highly encouraged that if relationships turn sour, they should be talks. There was no evidence that was led in connection to this assault and the court wonders why these people did not come to testify.

“There are inconsistencies in Tafirenyika’s testimonies. Clearly the evidence of the medical affidavit does not support what the complainant told the court.

“There is insufficient evidence to point out that the accused could have assaulted the complainant. The court is convinced that the accused is not guilty hence he is acquitted.”

Desmond 'Stunner' Chideme and Dyonne Tanaka
Desmond ‘Stunner’ Chideme and Dyonne Tanaka

Dyonne had claimed that Stunner thrashed her and plucked off her artificial nails after she had refused to give him her phone.

But the musician told the court that he had infidelity issues against her.

Stunner further stated that if he had assaulted Dyonne, he could be answering to allegations of attempted murder because of the three big rings he was wearing that might have caused serious injuries.

Stunner has since issued a statement reiterating that allegations against him were false.

“The allegations against me, as has now been proven in court, were wholly false, completely fabricated, and engineered to tarnish my image, take my voice away, lower my esteem in the eyes of the public, impact my income, and punish me for raising legitimate concerns about my marriage, which has now rightly ceased,” he said.

“While I was distraught at the beginning, I found comfort in reflection. I realised quite quickly that I was not alone, that many men are subject to malicious persecution by prosecution.

“Being arraigned before a criminal court is undesirable for most men, who choose instead to settle or plead guilty and receive a fine. Several women in this country are weaponizing the judicial system knowing men do not have a voice anymore, and that men, bent on protecting their family, often opt out of the brutal arena that is a criminal trial.

“I experienced this first hand as false allegations were plastered all over social media. I was hamstrung – unable to respond as my case was sub judice.
I swore that this had to change. That I would not live on my knees. I made the choice to not fight in the court of public opinion, but to fight in the court of law, where the argument is not emotion but fact, truth, and law.”

The musician said the “fight came at great cost, but I believe in making right by history and vindication. I did not assault the mother of my child, and history and the justice system will have it on record forever – that I am innocent.

“I made the choice to prove my innocence, whatever the cost, not for me, but for every male victim of malicious allegations out there.

“Lastly, I would like to thank my lawyers, D Mthombeni and partners for their tireless work to clear my name and all those that believe in due process, those that did not rush to wild conclusions, and those that knew in their hearts of hearts, that I am many things but not an abusive man.

“My focus going forward is on my career and my business and being a perfect father to my children.”

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