ZANU PF Chegutu West Member of Parliament Dexter Nduna last week breathed a sigh of relief after he was acquitted on charges of discharging a fire arm in public during the ruling party primary elections last year.
This came after he successfully applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case.
The presiding magistrate ruled that Nduna had acted lawfully because his life, that of his agent and his money was in danger from a crowd that was attacking him during that volatile period of the ruling party elections.
Nduna was facing charges of contravening section 27 of the Firearms Act, Chapter 10;09, “Unlawfully discharging a firearm in or upon a public place.”
The state had argued that on May 1 2018, Nduna unlawfully, knowingly and without lawful cause, discharged a firearm in or upon a public place.
Nduna was said to have fired four shots into the air from his Star Pistol serial number B63896 whilst being at Chinengundu Primary School, Pfupajena, Chegutu.
The Zanu PF legislator denied the charge, stating that on May 1 2018, he had lawful cause to discharge the firearm, whose purpose of issuing is self protection and cash in transit security.
He further stated that on the day in question violence broke out during Zanu PF Primary Elections and one of his Aides, Munyaradzi Simango also known as Mahwiro was beaten and left for dead.
In his application, through his lawyers Chambati Mataka and Makonese, Nduna said the attackers advanced fiercely towards him and his car which had USD4000 was smashed in the process.
“The accused stated that he fired warning shots into the air to disperse the advancing crowd which wanted to attack him, to avert further attack on one of his aides Munyaradzi Simango or Mahwiroas and to safeguard the money in the sum of USD4000.00 which was in the car that was smashed with a stone,” Nduna said in his application.
He added that no ballistic report was produced by the state.
“It is as good as the state wanting a court of law to convict an accused person in a case of possession of gold without an Assayer’s report. The state case stands or falls on such a report,” Nduna said, adding:
“The evidence adduced on behalf of the state, at this state, which must prove a prima facie case on a preponderance of probabilities, does not meet the requirements of section 27 of the Firearms Act for an offence to be said to have been committed under this Act.”