GOKWE — Four members of the ZCC Mutendi Church have pleaded not guilty to assault charges, insisting that their victim hurt herself as she tried to scare them off by throwing empty bottles at them.
The four are involved in a longstanding dispute over a house and were accused of assaulting Melody Sayeya, but in their defence they said she threw the bottles, which cut her after shattering on a wall.
Govhati (37), Frank (29), Webster (25) and Tanaka Mutendi (24), represented by Ignatious Murambatsvina, pleaded not guilty to the assault charges when they appeared before Gokwe resident magistrate Sheppard Mjanja on Monday.
They were remanded out of custody to July 11 for continuation of trial after one witness was called to testify against them.
The State witness during the trial told the Court that she was cut by glass when the four accused threw bricks which allegedly broke the French door of the disputed house.
But she stunned the prosecution when she rejected a doctor’s medical report, which was intended to be produced in court as evidence for the assault.
The four accused dismissed the allegations saying instead the complainant was the one who injured herself after she tried to scare them away by throwing empty bottles on the French door when they went to the house in dispute.
The Court heard that the Mutendis and the complainant, Sayeya of 2666 Mapfungautsi in Gokwe, had a longstanding house dispute.
On May 24 at 10am, the four went to Sayeya’s house and ordered her to vacate it before they left.
They returned a few hours later and ordered her to pack all her goods and move out. They again left, but upon their return, Sayeya had not vacated.
It is the State case that they became violent and Frank picked a wooden stool and threw it onto the French door.
Others picked bricks and threw them onto window panes, with one of the missiles allegedly hitting Sayeya.
They allegedly further manhandled her and pushed her to the wall.
Sayeya reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the four.
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