Panashe Machakaire Herald Reporter
The trial of former President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore, who is accused of kidnapping his employee at Zimbabwe Airways offices, opened yesterday at the Harare Magistrate’s Court, with the complainant, Mrs Bertha Zakeyo, narrating how she was unlawfully detained.
In her evidence in chief before magistrate Mrs Victoria Mashamba, Mrs Zakeyo claimed that Chikore gave a directive to security guard Simbarashe Mutimbe to bar her from leaving Zimbabwe Airways offices until she handed over her phone.
“The security guard, who was holding the remote control to the gate approached the driver’s side of my vehicle and said ‘I am very sorry madam, but Captain Simba Chikore has told me not to let you leave the premises until you hand over the phone’. I did not refuse to hand over the phone, but I told them to escort me to the police station so that I (could) do so.
“The focus of my illegal detention was the phone,” she said. Mrs Zakeyo said she handed over the phone, laptop and spare keys to Chikore’s lawyer at the time, a week after the incident. Prosecuting, Mr George Manokore, told the court that on June 7 last year, Chikore unlawfully detained Mrs Zakeyo for two hours.
During cross examination, Chikore’s lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange of Venturas and Samukange dismissed the allegations of unlawful detention saying it was the defendant’s behaviour that prompted the security guards to act in that manner.
“Confirm that on that morning upon receiving your termination letter you became hysterical, screaming and causing a breach of peace,” he said.
“The accused’s wish was for you to read, sign it and leave the premises, so why did you not leave? This is an abuse of the courts. Why did you offer tea to the men in your office who were allegedly threatening you. You have abused the court process.”
The trial is set to continue on February 13 with more witnesses testifying.