ZANU PF Bulawayo youth chairperson, Magura Charumbira, reportedly
aligned to Team Lacoste faction, which is linked to Vice-President
Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been
acquitted of charges of impersonation.
Charumbira was facing allegations of invading a city building to evict its occupants, while
posing as a police officer. He pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Batanai Tuwe.
Last week, Tuwe found him not guilty of the charge at the close of the State’s case and acquitted him. In his ruling, the magistrate said the State had failed to prove that Charumbira masqueraded as a police officer.
Even the witnesses, the magistrate ruled, could not clearly prove that Charumbira had committed the offence.
In his defence, Charumbira, who last week appeared before the court clad in a red jacket with an image of a crocodile, inscribed, “Crocodile Junior”, said the leasee of the building had engaged Zanu PF to assist her to evict an illegal tenant.
Charumbira was alleged to have visited Save The Nation Building, where the complainant,
Maxwell Kandiero was conducting lessons, masquerading as a police officer and ordered him and all the occupants to vacate the premises.
During his defence, Charumbira accused the complainants of having been sent by G40, a Zanu PF faction said to be opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding President Robert Mugabe, of trying to tarnish his image.
He said the Bulawayo-based G40 faction always accused him of supporting Team Lacoste.
“The truth is I never misrepresented as a police officer,” he submitted.
“They (applicants) are sent by Antipas Banda and his team, who call themselves G40.”
Charumbira claimed the applicants where framing him because he had refused to relinquish his chairmanship.
He also said they wanted to tarnish his image so that they destroy his chances of becoming a legislator in the next general elections.
But Kandiero said Magura visited his workplace and claimed to be a police officer before demanding the keys to the building and ordering him and his students to vacate the premises.
The court heard that Kandiero, of Pumula North, who is a private tutor at a private college, was at his workplace at the Save The Nation Building teaching his students on September 16 when Charumbira and Andrew Munyoro visited the property.
They allegedly identified themselves as police officers from Bulawayo Central Police, saying they had come to evict the occupants from the property.
Kandiero asked them to produce their identity particulars and they refused, before allegedly becoming violent.
Kandiero fled and solicited help from Efeso Mumera, who identified Charumbira and Munyoro as Zanu PF members, not police officers, leading to a report being made and their subsequent arrest. newsday