Falsely Accused CCC Candidate Stuck in Jail
11 September 2023
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CCC Candidate Patrick Cheza Remanded in Jail Amidst False Accusations

GWERU, September 10, 2023 – In a startling development, Patrick Cheza, the losing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate for Chirumanzu South constituency in the 2023 elections, finds himself stranded in jail after being falsely accused by ZANU PF of inciting public violence. Cheza’s bail ruling has been postponed, leaving him in custody for an extended period.

Magistrate Ms. Beauty Dube, standing in for Presiding Magistrate Mr. Tendai Mahwe, further remanded Cheza in custody to tomorrow for a bail ruling. Ms. Dube acknowledged the defense’s concern about the delay in the bail ruling but cited the extensive 218 handwritten pages of the case record as the reason for the postponement. She emphasized that the court couldn’t deliver the ruling in place of Mr. Mahwe.

The ordeal began when Cheza voluntarily handed himself over to the police, accompanied by his lawyer Mr. Esau Mandipa, following the arrest of his supporters. These supporters were accused of assaulting former Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry, Cde Barbara Rwodzi, after her son, Mr. George Chengetai Rwodzi, was involved in an accident with a vehicle allegedly belonging to Cheza.

Prosecutor Mr. Taurai Mabuto alleged that on August 24, Cheza arrived at the scene of the accident and shouted at Cde Rwodzi. He, along with several others, allegedly incited violence by shouting in vernacular language, “ngaarohwe,” which translates to “beat her up.” Subsequently, the group charged towards former Deputy Minister Rwodzi, wielding iron bars, logs, and knives.

In the ensuing chaos, Cheza, visibly agitated, raised his hand in a challenging manner and continued to provoke former Deputy Minister Rwodzi. This led to an attack in which she was tripped, and one individual attempted to stab her in the face with a knife. The group continued the assault, indiscriminately kicking her several times with booted feet all over her body. The attack only ceased when her security aide fired a shot into the air.

Former Deputy Minister Rwodzi sustained severe injuries and was admitted to the hospital for treatment. Cheza and the other accused individuals now face public violence charges, while Cheza awaits his bail ruling.

This incident has raised concerns about the fairness of the legal proceedings and the use of false accusations in political contexts, further highlighting the challenges faced by individuals involved in Zimbabwean politics.