Election obsever not guilty


A FILABUSI man accused of trespassing into a farm reportedly owned by a Zanu PF activist, was on Monday found not guilty and acquitted by a Filabusi magistrate.


Magistrate Mzingaye Moyo questioned whether the police had conducted enough investigations into the matter before arresting him after it emerged in court that the alleged suspect was reportedly assaulted by the Zanu PF activist.

He said claims by the then accused that he was kidnapped by the complainant and allegedly stripped naked before being assaulted at the farm, were supposed to be investigated and it was up to the acquitted suspect to initiate the move.

Nkosiyalinda Sibanda, who was a Zimbabwe Council of Churches observer during the July 31 elections, pleaded not guilty to the charge of trespass.

In his plea of not guilty, he told the court that he was kidnapped by two youths and Dumezweni Sithole the son of Amazon farm owner, Spare Sithole.

He was alleged to have trespassed into the farm with another youth whom he did not identify by name on Thursday last week.

Spare Sithole contested the Insiza South Zanu PF primary elections against Malaki Nkomo and lost.

Sibanda said the two took him to Sithole’s farm, where they stripped him naked in front of many people and assaulted him.

He said it was after his mother, Sibongile Khumalo got information that he had been kidnapped by the Zanu PF activists, who operate a security company, that she reported the matter to the police.

When police learnt that one of the alleged kidnappers was Sithole’s son, they phoned him and advised him to bring Sibanda or else he would face arrest.

Sibanda said that is when Sithole took him to the police and filed a report that he had trespassed into his property.

Allegations against Sibanda were that on August 15, he was found trespassing on Sithole’s property in the company of another man, who was not identified and he was later taken to the police on Thursday evening.

After Sibanda’s defence testimony, the magistrate said there was no clear evidence that he trespassed onto the property, but it appeared that the suspect was humiliated and assaulted by the complainant’s son.

He said police were expected to probe Sibanda’s claims.