Mugabe’s son-in-law has case to answer, rules court

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By Mary Taruvinga

HARARE magistrate Victoria Mashamba has ruled that former President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simbarashe Chikore has a case to answer.

Chikore is accused of unlawfully detaining then Zimbabwe Airways secretary, Betha Tsitsi Zakeyo at the two former work mates’ Chishawasha Hills last year.

He is jointly charged with the company’s ex-security guard, Simbarashe Mutimbe.

Both had applied for discharge at close of State case.

Court ruled both will proceed to defence on April 14.

“This case is centred on the issue of freedom. After all, hearing both sides of the case from the State and defence, after evidence, exhibits have been tendered and visually having a chance to see crime scene set up during the inspection in loco, this court is of the view that the State managed to prove its prima face case.

“Both applications are, accordingly dismissed and both accused are to proceed to defence case,” ruled Mashamba.

The magistrate said the case is centred on issues of freedom, adding that it is not in dispute that Zakeyo unwillingly stayed at the premises although she was refusing to hand over company gadgets.

Chikore and Mutimbe are accused of detaining Zakeyo in June last year after dismissing her for allegedly leaking company secrets.

Zakeyo testified she was detained for two hours on the day in question.

She said she was cornered in her office by six men who were taking instructions from Chikore.

But Chikore denied the allegations.

It is his defence, Chikore says Zakeyo stayed at the premises on her own volition after she refused to hand over company gadgets.

He said he called security officers to the scene because Zakeyo was hysterical after he fired her.

Chikore said Zakeyo was trying to attract unnecessary attention, adding it was difficult to calm her down.

Mirirai Shumba and George Manokore are prosecuting.