Magistrate Timeon Makunde had initially sentenced Peter Chigaba, one of Tsvangirai’s party security personnel, and his co-accused, former MDC Ward two Councilor Francisca Sheha and Ackimu Chigarire (38) to 26 months imprisonment each, but suspended eight months each on condition of good behavior.
Charges against the trio date back to February 2005 at the height of the run up to the parliamentary elections where Chigaba, who belonged to a faction that supported then outgoing Member of Parliament (MP) for Masvingo Urban, Silas Man’ono, disrupted a meeting of the Tongai Matutu faction that was being held at Town House.
Matutu, now the sitting Mavingo Urban legislator, was said to be the official MDC candidate. Man’ono later defected and stood as an independent but lost to Matutu.
It is the state’s case that at around 1700 hrs that day, Chigaba, Sheha and other youths arrived at Town house in Man’ono’s vehicle (reg number 772-129V) armed with logs, stones, sticks and tried to forcibly gain entry into the venue.
They were denied by Ackimu Chigarire who struck Sheha with a Kudu horn leading to clashes between the youths from the two rival factions. Sheha took a log from the vehicle and forcibly entered thereby disrupting the meeting with the help of Chigaba.
Sheha and Chigaba were represented by Roderick Makause of Chihambakwe legal practitioners while Chigarire’s lawyer was Tongai Matutu of Matutu, Kwirira and Associates.
Other accused who were implicated-including MDC ward eight councilor Misheck Gapare (32), ward three councilor Daniel Muchuchuti (MDC-T), Robson Mashiri (30) AND William Mugunzva (29) but these were acquitted.