MDC Alliance official Luke Tamborinyoka has been cleared of all charges of defacing a rival’s political campaign posters.
Tamborinyoka, a former spokesman of presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, faced two charges of contravening section 152 the Electoral Act split by the prosecution, with one alleging he connived with Tapiwa Murima and another in which he allegedly acted lone.
He appeared before two magistrates – Nyasha Vitorini and Francis Mapfumo – in different courts but over the same incident.
Mapfumo acquitted Tamborinyoka of the second charge after being cleared by Vitorini on the other record the previous week.
The State alleged that Tamborinyoka had pasted his campaign posters on top of another competitor’s during the party’s primary elections in June.
Vitorini ruled that there was no case against Tamborinyoka before setting him free.
“The State has not proffered sufficient evidence that a reasonable court would sustain a conviction against the two accused persons. Evidence by the State’s chief witnesses who testified had to be treated with caution because he exhibited conflict of interest since he was related to the complainant,” Vitorini said.
“The evidence of the State did not correspond on the issue of positioning of posters, the witnesses differed hence a prima facie case has not been proven against the accused persons.”
Mapfumo passed a similar verdict and ruled that evidence proffered by the State was not sufficient for a reasonable court to sustain conviction.
The complainant was Taurai Clifford Nhamburo who was an aspiring member of parliament for MDC Alliance Goromonzi West constituency.
According to State papers Tamborinyoka is also aspiring to become a legislator for the same constituency.
His alleged accomplice resides in Parirewa Village Chief Chinamora and is unemployed.
Prosecutor Idah Maromo alleged that on June 22 this year, Nyasha Murove put up Nhamburo’s campaign posters at a public toilet at Chirodzero business centre in Domboshava.
The court heard that on June 25 around 5 pm, Tamborinyoka and Murima were allegedly seen sticking their own campaign posters on top of Nhamburo’s.
It was alleged that Murove immediately alerted the police and led detectives Shane Nakuwana and Bothwelll Maneka to the crime scene.
When the police attended the scene, four of Tamborinyoka’s posters had reportedly been pasted on top of Nhamburo’s and were immediately removed and held as exhibits.
According to the State outline, Tamborinyoka acted unlawfully.
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