By Staff Reporter
TWO MDC Alliance supporters from Manica-Bridge in Mutasa Central constituency were Thursday jailed for 12 months each after they were convicted of assaulting a Zanu PF supporter at a local business centre.
The pair, Lincoln Muradzikwa (22) from Mudenda village, under Chief Mutasa and Patrick Murauro (22) from Mawondo village under Chief Mutasa pleaded guilty to assault charges when they appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe.
The two were facing charges of assaulting one Providence Maunze accusing him of being a staunch supporter of Jefta Sakupwanya, who contested in the just ended elections under a Zanu PF ticket.
Asked why they assaulted Maunze, the pair said, “Your Worship, we assaulted Maunze because he was supporting Jefta Sakupwanya a Zanu PF aspiring candidate for the House of Assembly in our area”.
Mahwe however suspended four months on each suspect on condition they will not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
The two will now serve an effective eight months each in prison.
In passing the verdict, Mahwe said cases of politically motivated assaults were on the increase in the province since the beginning of the election period and after and as such, lengthy jail sentences were appropriate to deter would-be offenders.
Prosecutors told court that on July 13 this year, around 2000hrs, Maunze was partaking beer with his friends at Manhede business centre.
He decided to retire to bed but on his way home, he saw the suspects following from a distance while holding a torch.
On realising he was being followed, Maunze slowed his pace thinking it was one of his friends who stayed in the same area who sought his company as they walked home.
Muradzikwa and Murauro went on to beat him but he managed to physically identify the two.
Muradzikwa reportedly told Maunze that he was beating him up for supporting Sakupwanya.
He advanced and started punching Maunze with clenched fists all over the body before he was joined by his accomplice Murauro.
The court heard Murauro`s picked a stone which he used to hit Maunze who had fallen to the ground after being overpowered by the two.
Maunze’s assailants tore his Zanu PF t-shirt which he was putting on and they took it away to conceal the matter.
Maunze sustained some bruises on the back and was left bleeding profusely from the mouth.
Fletcher Karombe prosecuted.