By Fungai Lupande
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange chief executive Mr Alban Dhladhla Chirume was last Friday acquitted on charges of assaulting his estranged wife, Susan Mutangadura. The presiding magistrate, Mr Arnold Maburo, ruled that what Mutangadura alleged could not have happened given the topography of the scene. “There is a total disconnect between the allegations in the charge sheet and those in the State outline,” said the magistrate.
“Firstly, the allegation that the accused assaulted the complainant with open hands as he physically held her legs is not anywhere stated in the outline and was not supported by the complainant when she testified.
“On the contrary, she denied the allegation that she was assaulted with open hands and she had to hide behind the fact that she did not craft the charge sheet.
“The State did not call the investigating officer or any other witness to explain where the assault with ‘open hands’ had come from, neither was the doctor called to explain how holding one ‘by her legs’ stopping her from entering the property could result in ‘minor bruises’ as stated in the outline,” Mr Maburo said.
The State, Mr Maburo said, failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, hence Mr Chirume stood acquitted.
Mr Chirume was represented by lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa.
Mutangadura was the first to lay charges against Mr Chirume last year.
After a week, Mr Chirume also laid domestic violence charges against her accusing her of punching and pinching him.
She was acquitted last year on the counter charge of domestic violence.
Allegations were that Mr Chirume removed Mutangadura’s property from No. 41 Harare Drive to No. 52 Borrowdale Road without her knowledge and approval.
She drove to No. 41 Harare Drive and found the gate locked.
A security guard at the premises told her that Mr Chirume had instructed him not to allow her into the premises.
The guard sought Mr Chirume’s advice, but he was not forthcoming.
The court heard that Mutangadura climbed the precast wall in a bid to get into the house.
While scaling the wall, Mr Chirume reportedly stormed out of the house and held Mutangadura by the legs.
A scuffle ensued as Mutangadura tried to free herself. She was bruised on both hands.
Mr Chirume alleged that he came out of the house and saw Mutangadura sitting at the top of the precast wall.
He held her both legs restraining her and she attacked him, punching him several times on the head and bit him on the arm.
She allegedly pinched Mr Chirume on both ears and kicked his private parts.
Mutangadura allegedly screamed alerting neighbour’s who came to intervene.