Beer lands registry official in court

A LUPANE registry department official is in trouble after he got drunk on duty and seriously assaulted a colleague in a dispute over his bag after accusing his co-workers of leaving it behind.


Fortune Nkomo (27) of District Administration Camp in Lupane, employed as a processing officer by the registry department, pleaded not guilty to assault when he initially appeared before Lupane magistrate Aelene Munamati last Thursday.

Yesterday, he appeared before the same magistrate, with his trial expected to continue, but Nkomo asked the court to give him time to look for a lawyer to represent him at the next remand date.

The magistrate remanded him to September 4 for continuation of trial. At the start of the trial, the State led evidence against Nkomo from three witnesses, who testified that Nkomo assaulted the complainant, Tichawona Jani (33), his workmate.

Prosecutor Sanders Sibanda told the court that on May 5 this year, Nkomo, Jani and their colleagues were deployed at Dongamuzi area to conduct a mobile voter registration exercise.

On arrival at the venue, all the officials disembarked from the vehicle they were travelling in.

Nkomo is alleged to have immediately moved away from the offloading bay, leaving his bag behind.

Jani and other officials took their bags and went to the rooms, where they were due to put up, but left Nkomo’s bag.

It is the State case that on his return, Nkomo found his bag still where they had disembarked from the vehicle.

He allegedly started accusing his colleagues of leaving his bag outside saying it showed that they were not working as a team. The court heard that Nkomo was already under the influence of alcohol and Jani told him that they could not talk to him since he appeared drunk.

Nkomo is alleged to have run amok and assaulted Jani, accusing him of belittling him.
Jani ran away, but Nkomo gave chase, kicking him in the process.
Jani ran towards the school, but Nkomo caught up with him and further assaulted him with a stick.

Nkomo is alleged to have said he was no longer able to work with his colleagues and told them that he was going back to Lupane.

The State further alleges that Jani did not report the matter to the police, but Nkomo went and reported that Jani had assaulted him. However, police investigations later established that Nkomo was the one who assaulted Jani.

Nkomo has been already suspended from work following the incident, pending dismissal.
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