MDC-T Gweru Urban Ward 4 councillor Kenneth Sithole has been acquitted on allegations of assaulting a council employee after an altercation over late payment of salaries by the local authority.
By Stephen Chadenga
Allegations were that Sithole grabbed Simbarashe Lebo, a driver at Gweru City Council, after he had inquired about late disbursement of workers’ salaries. In pleading not guilty to the charges, Sithole had claimed he was framed because of factional fighting in the MDC-T party.
“I never touched Lebo and I strongly believe these charges are trumped up to smear my name as he belongs to a faction in the party against my aspirations to be district chairperson,” Sithole alleged.
Gweru magistrate Judith Taruvinga said the State had failed to prove beyond doubt that the councillor had assaulted the complainant in any way.
Allegations were that on March 20, Sithole and Lebo were at Gweru City Council attending to a disciplinary hearing of an employee, Kudzai Ziurawa.
Lebo inquired from Sithole on why council disbursed salaries late, but the councillor allegedly jumped and grabbed the driver by the neck.
Lebo allegedly suffered a swollen neck and bruises as a result of the assault.