By Court Reporter
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke denied Tuesday ever insulting a Harare lawyer, arguing that he was the victim instead.
As trial commenced before Harare magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini, Kaseke claimed that allegations against him were fabricated in order to tarnish his image as a public figure.
He told court that he has problems in his office, adding that complainant Philipa Magnify Philips, 40, made-up the charges against him because she has links with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Philips denied having any links with or being a lawyer for the first family as alleged by Kaseke’s lawyer.
The complainant told court that Kaseke was a violent person adding that this was now common knowledge.
“We once held a round-table at my office and he (Kaseke) attacked me,” said Philips.
“He became violent and made so much noise that it was embarrassing. He wanted to beat me up right in my office.”
The ZTA boss is a second respondent in matter involving his son’s road accident with one Freedom Mazirire who is represented by Philips.
Mazirire is suing Kaseke for $18,000 in damages following the accident.
According to Philips, the parties held a pre-trial conference at the High Court where the Judge advised Kaseke to settle as his prospects for success at trial were slim.
She said this did not go down with Kaseke who approached her client after the meeting telling him he was being misled by his lawyer.
This triggered the dispute which ended with Kaseke allegedly poking Philips and also reportedly calling her a prostitute.
Philips told court that she did not report Kaseke when he initially insulted her while at her workplace because she thought it was his nature to be violent.
“I did not report. I thought this was Kaseke being Kaseke; you know, he is like that and it is known.
“He is such a person who can just throw a stapler at you. I witnessed many incidents when he became violent, at one time insulting his wife and, on another occasion, his personal assistant. He wants to show everyone that he is a boss.”
Philips further claimed that Kaseke once approached her father asking him to make drop her the charges.
She said her father, who once worked for the ZTA, told Kaseke that she was now an adult and, as such, capable of making her own decisions.
“When injustice occurs, it has to be solved; one cannot go around calling married women bitches, people will think there is something similar about your character,” she said.
Kaseke however, told court that Philips accused him of being corrupt and also of being a womaniser.
He insisted that he was the one who was insulted, and not the other way round.