THREE Gwanda men will each perform 245 hours of community service for public violence after throwing stones and injuring a couple for organising transport to the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe’s rally held at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda Town last Monday.
The trio from Makwe Village, Blessed (24), Dumisile (18) and Clearance (18), all Sibandas and related, pleaded guilty to public violence and were convicted by Gwanda magistrate Ms Sheila Nazombe on Friday.
They, however, denied throwing stones at people but said they only directed the stones to some vehicles which they admitted to having damaged.
They said they were trying to defend their uncle, Phosani Sibanda (30) who was being assaulted.
Ms Nazombe sentenced them to 10 months’ imprisonment of which three months were suspended on condition each of them paid the complainants, Morgan Sibanda and his wife, the chairperson of the United Women Miners Association for Gwanda District, Sibongile $84.
The remaining seven months were suspended on condition each of them performed 245 hours community service at Makwe Clinic, starting tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Phosani, who was also arrested in the fracas and faced similar charges, pleaded not guilty, saying he never caused any public violence but said instead was the one who was assaulted.
The prosecutor, Mr Edward Ndlovu, applied for a separate trial for Phosani.
He was remanded in custody to tomorrow for trial.
Allegations are that on 12 October, a day before Dr Mugabe’s Gwanda rally, at around 6.30pm, Morgan and his wife were eating roasted meat at Zibekebeke Kitchen at Makwe Business Centre.
The trio and Phosani, who were also at the business centre, started shouting, accusing Sibongile of organising transport to Dr Grace Mugabe’s rally and also accusing her of being a prostitute.
“The accused persons and others who were not identified started throwing stones indiscriminately and assaulting people. In the process they assaulted Mr and Mrs Sibanda using open hands, booted feet and stones. They also damaged Mr Sibanda’s rear view mirror of his vehicle, a Toyota Hilux, which was parked at the business centre,” said Mr Ndlovu.
As a result of the assault, Morgan sustained some bruises on the right leg and left arm and was referred to hospital for treatment, while Sibongile was taken to Makwe Clinic as a result of pains she felt in her stomach.
She was later referred to Gwanda Provincial Hospital for treatment.
Sibongile also lost her purse containing $300 which was never recovered.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the four Sibanda men.
Value of damage caused to the vehicle was $250.