A CHINESE businessman who was accused of pointing a firearm at his three ex-employees in a labour dispute has been acquitted by a Harare Magistrate for lack of evidence.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Xu Lei (36), who was facing three counts of pointing a firearm and two counts of assault, appeared before magistrate Learnmore Mapiye who acquitted him after a full trial.
The complainants were Farai Kondo, Tatenda Jenami and Simon Chikwanha.
In acquitting him, Mapiye said the State failed to prove a prima facie case against Xu and no evidence was submitted before the court to corroborate the three complainants’ testimonies.
Xu told the court, in his defence, that Jenami, Chikwanha and Kondo fabricated the case because he had fired them.
The court heard that on July 27, Kondo, Jenami and Chikwanha had a labour dispute with Xu, prompting them to approach the National Employment Council for the Commercial Sectors of Zimbabwe (NECCSZ) for recourse.
On July 31 they went to Xu’s workplace in a bid to serve him with the letter from NECCSZ.
The court heard that Xu refused to accept the papers and he ordered the complainants to leave his premises, but they insisted on serving him. This did not go well with Xu who allegedly drew his pistol and fired three warning shots into the air.
The three ex-employees allegedly refused to vacate the premises and Xu then pointed the pistol at each one of them. The court heard that Xu then allegedly assaulted them with a broken sheet of asbestos.
Delight Mauto appeared for the State.