Monday, October 21, 2013
Buhera South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba appears in a Bulawayo court, leaves it in stitches
BUSINESS came to a standstill at the Bulawayo Magistrates' Courts at Tredgold Building when Buhera South Member of the National Assembly Joseph Chinotimba made an unheralded appearance in court.
Chinotimba was a complainant in a case where a man identified as Stephen Gwarada, from Harare had insulted him through the phone in 2011.
Officials from Tredgold Building swarmed Chinotimba and some of them took turns to pose for photos with him in the corridor leading to Court 1 and 2 as he waited to get into the courtroom.
After the court session, members of the public, most of them informal traders who do business along Leopold Takawira Street crowded around the humorous MP as he cracked some of his jokes.
Chinotimba (54), of 3357 Lacklyn Road, Mabelreign in Harare, also left the court in stitches when he said he was giving amnesty to Gwarada as a reward for "voting Zanu-PF."
"Yes it is true I am the complainant but I want to say something," said Chinotimba to Bulawayo magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove.
"He truly offended me and what he did is not permissible in this country but because he did it before elections, I have to forgive him. I won the election and President Mugabe also won and I thought that I should not continue pressing charges against the same people who voted me into power. That is not proper."
Chinotimba told the court that as a Christian, he had been taught to forgive.
"It pains me to see a person who voted me into power being sent to jail. I should forgive him the way he voted me. I am a church goer and the church says we should forgive others. We should forgive people for voting for President Mugabe resoundingly," he said.
Asked by the magistrate if he understood that by withdrawing he matter he would not be able to open fresh charges, Chinotimba said: "I would be asking to be arrested because I have said this under oath."
Mr Mordecai Donga, of Lazarus and Sarif represented Chinotimba.
The charges against Gwarada were subsequently withdrawn before plea.
The State led by Mr Jeremiah Mutsindikwa had said on 8 December 2011 while at the Zanu-PF Annual National Conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), Chinotimba received a phone call from Gwarada who accused him of stealing his phone.
"You are used to stealing, you are a lunatic, thief," Gwarada allegedly said.
The court was told that Chinotimba responded by identifying himself but Gwarada allegedly continued insulting him.
"I know you Chinotimba, you are used to killing people but today it is over. If you fail to bring back my cellphone within two days you will die," Gwarada said.
Chinotimba proceeded to the police station to make a report and he recived a text message from the same number saying" "Please return my line, if you do not I will report you to the police and I am giving you two days only."
The court was told that Gwarada later sent a text message to Chinotimba apologising to him, saying he had made a mistake because his number almost resembled the one he wanted to phone.
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