A Harare lawyer, Emmanuel Samundombe, was yesterday jailed for an effective three years for bashing his pregnant girlfriend until she had a miscarriage after accusing her of interfering with his other “mistress”.
Samundombe assaulted Zvikomborero Choto who he was staying with following a heated argument in which he accused her of divulging “classified information” to his other girlfriend that he had four children with different women.
Choto later suffered a miscarriage. Samundombe, who was being charged for contravening the Domestic Violence Act, pleaded guilty to the charge but challenged the medical report that stated that the miscarriage was as a result of the assault.
He questioned the authenticity of the report adding that Choto had tried to extort him for her to withdraw the charges. Magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande sentenced Samundombe to 48 months behind bars but suspended 10 months on condition of good behaviour.
She then effected 38 months. In her reasons for sentencing, Ms Makwande said Samundombe, as a legal practitioner who is aware of the law, deserved a custodial sen- tence.
“A deterrent sentence would be the appropriate thing taking into account the above factor. It is a punishment that will ensure that justice is done,” she said. “As a legal practitioner, he is aware of the law regarding domestic violence. He is fully aware that violence is abhorred not only by society but by the courts as well. Domestic violence has no place in our society.”
Ms Makwande added that a life was lost and Samundombe should not be treated like a layperson. “There was a loss of life because the complainant lost her unborn child and according to the medical report there is a possibility of permanent injuries. Therefore, in such circumstances, a custodial sentence is inevitable.”
He removed blankets from the bed where Choto was sleeping. He went out and locked the door from outside while Choto remained inside. Samundombe later came back and unlocked the door before punching and clapping Choto. He then pushed her to the ground
Meanwhile, a Harare lawyer attacked his co-director at Sawyer & Mkushi Legal Practitioners for “defending a thief”, writes Prosper Dembedza. Kevin Barry John O’Toole (79) was facing assault charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Arnold Maburo.
Through his lawyer, Mr Obedience Machuvaire, O’Toole is denying the charges levelled against him. He said his visit to Honour Mkushi’s office was peaceful and harm- less. “He never assaulted the complainant with a wooden tray or threw the papers as alleged. The accused person due to his physical health problems, is unable to use force,” Mr Machuvaire said.
Allegations are that on July 128 this year at the 11th floor of NSSA Building, O’Toole visited Mkushi and requested to see him in his office. The court heard that O’Toole was told to wait at reception as Mkushi was busy.
It is alleged that O’Toole could not wait and burst into Mkushi’s office with a document in hand while accusing him of defending a thief. O’Toole, it is alleged, demanded to knowhow much Mkushi was paid to defend the said thief.
The court heard that he grabbed files on the table and threw them on to the floor. He allegedly picked up a wooden mail tray and struck Mkushi’s shoulder with it. The court heard that Mkushi shouted for help and his secretary and a client rushed into the office to quell the situation. Mkushi reported to the police, leading to O’Toole’s arrest..