MDC-T official on violence charges

AN MDC-T official who allegedly forced a campaign manager for an independent candidate in Gweru to remove the party’s beret he was wearing has been taken to court facing political violence charges.

Stephen Chadenga

John Dambakurima (33) from Mkoba 5, is facing charges of disorderly conduct and violating a section of the Electoral Act.

The State alleges that on July 7 at Mkoba 5 Top Ten shops, Dambakurima forced Mkhululeko Ndebele to remove an MDC-T beret he was wearing.

Ndebele is the campaign manager for Kumbirai Ratsvara who was fired by the MDC-T after he registered to stand as an independent candidate during the July 31 elections.

The State alleges Dambakurima took offense that Ndebele was wearing MDC-T regalia despite knowing that Rutsvara had been expelled from the party.

Dambakurima is also accused of pulling down posters of outgoing Gweru mayor and Gweru urban independent candidate Tedious Chimombe at the same place the following day.

However, he denied the charges through his lawyer Takashinga Pamacheche of Gundu and Dube legal partners. He claimed Ndebele voluntarily handed over the beret when he asked him to do so because he was not a member of MDC-T.

Dambakurima said he was surprised when police later came to arrest him.

On charges of pulling down posters, the accused said he never set foot at Top Ten on the day in question.

Dambakurima was remanded out of custody on $200 bail and the trial will continue tomorrow.

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