Mliswa did not beat up MP: State witness
HARARE – The drama that has characterised the ongoing trial of businessman-cum-politician Temba Mliswa reached its climax at the weekend with the second State witness exonerating the accused of any wrong-doing.
Under cross-examination from Mliswa’s defence counsel led by Musindo Hungwe of Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere law firm, State witness Lancelot Koronga, like the first witness and complainant Sarah Mahoka, also said he was illiterate.
He told the court that the accused did not commit the alleged crime as he was nowhere near Zimonja where the crime was allegedly committed.
Koronga admitted that the court was wasting time as he was not in a position to link Mliswa and his other 12 co-accused to the alleged assault of Hurungwe East legislator Mahoka.
“I have no knowledge about what took place at Zimonja and neither did I see anyone assault Mahoka nor deflate her car tires,” Koronga said.
“I cannot say that the accused committed the crime and I also did not hear Mliswa giving instructions to his co-accused or anyone for that matter to assault anyone. Not even once in my life.”
Asked if the court was wasting time with a witness who had nothing of relevance to the case after he had failed to identify the car that was allegedly used to commit the crime, Koronga stunned the courtroom when he said it was better to dismiss the case against Mliswa as it was tantamount to wasting time.
Pressed by Hungwe to say if he suffered from occasional memory loss, Koronga who continuously deviated from his evidence-in-chief told the court that he had not had time to prepare for some of the questions he was being asked.
“I have just remembered that the lawyer is arguing about Hurungwe West when he does not reside there. He is asking questions that I have not had time to prepare for,” he said.
Koronga, who is also Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial secretary for lands, had to be reminded continuously to use one language as he continuously mixed English and Shona.
He told the court that he was a school drop-out who could not read and write.
“I did not go to school and I cannot converse in English though I can hear it after I was taught by the second accused Zinyama,” he said.
Mliswa, an aspiring Zanu PF legislator, stands accused of having had a hand in last month’s thrashing of the legislator who now walks with a limp.
The trial continues tomorrow. – Mugove Tafirenyika