A Harare man who was allegedly stabbed by CAPS United player Method Mwanjali at the weekend in a fit of road rage is on a life support system battling for his life at a local hospital, the court heard yesterday.
State papers show that Tonderai Nhunzvi is admitted in Parirenyatwa Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and police are yet to record a statement from him as he is still unable to speak.
On the fateful day, Mwanjali was in the company of Archford Gutu who reportedly damaged Nhunzvi’s vehicle after accusing him of reckless driving.
Mwanjali was remanded in custody to today while Gutu was granted $100 bail and remanded to today after their lawyer, advocate Lewis Uriri, instructed by Mr Tinofara Hove, challenged their placement on remand arguing that they were over-detained.
Mwanjali is facing attempted murder charges while Gutu is facing a charge of malicious damage to property and they are appearing on separate records.
Prosecuting, Ms Francesca Mukumbiri insisted that the pair was properly before the court.
Ms Mukumbiri intended to call the investigating officer, Constable Batsirai Wafawanaka, to take the witness stand and corroborate the State’s assertion, but he was in no-show after his name was called out three times.
The court had to adjourn the matter briefly to 2:30pm to give the prosecution time to locate Cst Wafawanaka.
Still he did not show up until 4pm, prompting magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe to roll over Mwanjali’s case to today.
“We sit here up to 3:45pm therefore in these circumstances we have no option but to roll over the matter to tomorrow (today) at 8:30am,” he said.
Adv Uriri objected to the court’s ruling saying: “Your Worship, what will happen to the accused person, he has not been placed on remand hence he cannot go to remand. We can go by the request for remand form which shows the date and time of arrest which is April 17 at 4am, meaning that the State should proceed by way of summons,” he said.
In response, Mr Mahwe said he could not make a ruling before hearing the State’s full submissions.
Cst Wafawanaka only came in after 4pm when the court was now dealing with Gutu’s case and Mr Mahwe said he had already remanded Mwanjali in custody. He warned Cst Wafawanaka to appear in court today.
Adv Uriri argued that Gutu was over-detained but the State disputed it and opposed bail.
Mr Mahwe, however, ruled that Gutu’s case of malicious damage to property was not serious before granting him bail.
Advocate Uriri said in terms of Section 50 (2) of the Constitution, the accused should have been brought before a magistrate within 48 hours.
He argued that they were arrested on April 17 at around 4am hence the 48 hours had lapsed. He said the fact that the duo remained in detention for more than 48 hours without a warrant of further detention issued by a magistrate clearly showed they had been over-detained.
“The State should be advised to proceed by a way of summons when they are ready because their continued detention is unlawful,” he said.
On the other hand, the State maintained that the duo committed the offence on April 17 at around 4am and handed themselves to the police at around 11am of the same day.
“After committing the offence, the two fled from the scene and later surrendered themselves to the police at round 11.30 am. After listening to their explanations, the police then placed them under arrest at around 3:30pm. They are properly before this court,” Ms Mukumbiri said.
The State alleged that on April 17 at around 4am, the parties met at an intersection in the Longcheng Plaza complex and their vehicles almost collided.
Gutu, who was driving in the company of Mwanjali, got out of the vehicle and charged towards Nhunzvi who had three passengers aboard. He accused him of reckless driving.
As Gutu was shouting, Nhunzvi closed his windows and this irritated Gutu who then smashed his vehicle’s windscreen using an unknown object.
He went back to his car but Nhunzvi and his friends followed him and an altercation ensued after Nhunzvi asked Gutu to wait for the police.
As onlookers gathered around, Mwanjali got out of the vehicle and exchanged angry words with Nhunzvi.
Mwanjali returned to the vehicle and allegedly gabbed a knife and stabbed Nhunzvi twice in the stomach. Nhunzvi’s friend, Lionel Muchena, who tried to restrain Mwanjali, sustained a cut to his hand.
Mwanjali and Gutu then vanished from the scene. herald