By Nyore Madzianike
Three security personnel at United Families International Church, who are accused of battering a fellow congregant over church’s money, have a case to answer.
Harare magistrate Gideon Ruvetsa said Munyaradzi Rukato, Stewart Tongai and Farai Chuma have a case to answer and they should be put to their defence.
The trio is standing accused of giving Mulungisi Sibanda a bashing following a misunderstanding over church’s money.
Rukato, Tongai and Chuma denied the assault charges when they initially appeared in court.
But the court noted that the trio have a case to answer after the State led by Netsai Mushayabasa called all its witnesses and closed its case.
The UFIC security personnel are expected to appear in court next week to give their defense case.
In denying the charges, Rukato said:
“I came to know the complainant when he approached to me asking to join the security department at church.
“I was heading the security department at that time and when he came in he said he wanted a position within the department.
“He kept pestering me asking for a position until I said come and you will be writing some minutes of our meetings.
“We had some projects that we were running as a department and it seems as if he was not interested in those projects.
“He started posting on WhatsApp groups for the youths and for those who are married discouraging them to participate in those projects.
“I then initiated that he be removed from those two groups — one for those married and the one for those who are not married.
“I told him that if he was not interested he should not discourage other people.
“Then, on the day in question, we had a meeting and I was late for that meeting.
“When I arrived at the meeting Sibanda was already addressing people.
“I told him to stop addressing people as he had no authority to do so.
“When I was addressing people, complainant threw a bag at me and started shouting at me.
“He said F**k you whilst charging towards me.
“I never touched or pointed a finger at him,” he said.
Tongai also denied the charges saying her only intervened to protect his boss from receiving a bashing from Sibanda.
He said he never had any physical contact with Sibanda.
“When boss was addressing people complainant threw a bag at him and it was when I intervened.
“Ndakati handingasii boss vachirohwa,” he said.
Chuma also denied the charges saying he only intercepted Sibanda from charging towards Rukato.
Prosecutor Mushayabasa alleges that on September 10 last year, Sibanda was at City Sports Centre attending a church meeting where Tongai and Chuma were also in attendance.
The State had it that Sibanda, as the secretary in security department, started addressing the congregants since Rukato was yet to arrive at the meeting.
It is said that when Rukato arrived, he ordered Sibanda to sit down and started addressing the congregants.
Rukato is alleged to have said:
“Sibanda wakauya pano manje hapana chauonondiudza unogona kunomhan’ara kwaunoda”.
He also allegedly started attacking Sibanda.
Rukato is also said to have teamed up with Tongai and Chuma and started dragging him. H-Metro