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• Association petitions Police, JSC


MASVINGO – Security of lawyers and magistrates at Masvingo Magistrates Court came under the spotlight on Monday last week when an angry litigant severely assaulted prominent lawyer, Tichaona Bhunu, who had successfully applied for the suspension of an order compelling his client to pay $7 000 damages for seduction and breach to marry.
Bhunu suffered a swollen face and legs after he was kicked with a safety shoe by Tawanda Munyai, an uncle to the snubbed girl. The violence took place right inside the corridors of the court.
Alarmed by the violence, Masvingo Lawyers' Association (MLA) immediately sent a petition to the Judicial Service Commission through the Provincial Magistrate, Langton Ndokera and another to the Officer Commanding Masvingo Senior Assistant Commissioner Martha Mafolo and the Officer-in-Charge at Masvingo Central Chief Inspector Greatman Chitera raising concerns against the lax security at the courts.
The petition which is in the hands of The Mirror was signed by 24 lawyers. Collen Maboke told Ndokera during the presentation of the petition that security at the courts was so lax that one accused Masvingo town councillor recently entered the court with a pistol and the weapon was only discovered when the councillor who was an accused was searched on being taken to the cells.
Munyai has since been convicted of assault and sentenced to eight months in prison but will serve six after Magistrate Ndokera suspended two months of the term.
According to the State, Bhunu was assaulted by Munyai after he applied for recession of a default judgment against his client Patrick Mutasa who was ordered to pay $7 000 for seduction damages and breaching a promise to marry Ngonidzashe Marowedze.
Mutasa is alleged to have seduced and promised to marryMarowedze but when she eloped to Mutasa parents' home in Unit F Mucheke she was allegedly kicked out.
After getting the default judgment, Marowedze enlisted the services of the messenger of court to attach property but Bhunu made a plea to the court that the attached property did not belong to Mutasa but to his father.
The two applications meant that both the payment of the $7 000 damages and sale of the attached goods by the messenger of court were suspended and this angered Munyai who waylaid Bhunu in the corridor, held him by the neck and hit him all over the face and also kicked him with a safety shoe in the legs.
Munyai accused Bhunu of unnecessarily delaying the finalisation of the case. At one time he (Munyai) was actually booted out of a court hearing by Magistrate Mugabe after he shouted at a witness during a session.
Dates have since been set for the hearing of the interpleader case and the fresh hearing of the seduction charges.
The presentation of the petition was led by Maboke and Philip Shumba who is the president of Masvingo Lawyers' Association story news

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Masvingo Mirror is a provincial paper for Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
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