A 61-YEAR-OLD senior Zanu PF official yesterday admitted to bashing his 34-year-old pregnant lover with a wooden stick when he appeared in the Gwanda Magistrates’ Court facing physical abuse charges yesterday.
Leonard Mathuthu, an active Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial member contested and lost the 2008 parliamentary elections in Gwanda North. He was last year shortlisted by the party for a post in the yet to be constituted provincial council.
He is also part of the war veterans leadership in the province.
Mathuthu pleaded guilty to charges of physical abuse when he appeared before Gwanda magistrate-in-charge Reuben Mukavhi and was sentenced to 30 days in prison that were wholly suspended for three years on condition that he does not commit an offence involving physical abuse within that period.
In passing sentence, the magistrate said Mathuthu was supposed to act like a role model because of his old age.
“As a senior citizen, you are supposed to lead by example so that youths can look up to you. By beating your girlfriend, what do you expect youths to learn?” Mukavhi quizzed.
The court heard that on February 6 this year, Mathuthu received a phone call from his Botswana-based son informing him that he would be coming to Zimbabwe.
Mathuthu, who had been staying with his pregnant girlfriend, Melith Dube, advised her to leave his house and return to her place.
Dube refused to leave arguing that Mathuthu was being unfair since he had impregnated her.
Her refusal infuriated Mathuthu who picked up a wooden stick and struck Dube once on the shoulder resulting in her sustaining an injury.
The matter was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of Mathuthu while Dube was referred to hospital.
In mitigation, Mathuthu said he never intended to cause injury to his girlfriend.
“In my lifetime, I have never beaten a woman. I want to apologise to Melith,” he said. “I love her and wish to stay with her. I want to normalise our relationship.”
Dube shed tears as the magistrate handed down sentence.