HARARE - Former MDC deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma yesterday told a Harare magistrate that he was attacked by party activists in February because of a letter he wrote to Morgan Tsvangirai asking him to step down from the presidency.
Mangoma was testifying during the trial of Francis Mafimbidzofa, Enock Mukudu, Stefani Tafadzwa Jahwi, Samson Tumai Nerwande, Rhino Mashaya, James Chidhakwa, Denford Ngadziore, Shakespere Mukoyi and Paul Gorekore.
They are facing assault charges for reportedly beating up Mangoma. The court heard that the assault was a result of factionalism currently rocking the party.
“The situation started when I wrote a letter to Tsvangirai about party squabbles,” Mangoma said.
“A meeting was subsequently called at Harvest House on February 15 and when the meeting was about to end, a group of activists were singing and threatening that I would be assaulted.”
Mangoma said he did not identify his attackers and was assisted by Tsvangirai’s security aides to get to his vehicle after the assault.
“I did not notice the attackers, I was helped by Tsvangirai’s security aides to get to my vehicle and by then I was nose-bleeding and my shirt had been torn.”
Mangoma produced pictures that he extracted from a video that was taken on the day in question.
Accused persons’ lawyer Douglas Mwonzora questioned the relevance of the photographs because they could not identify any of the accused persons.
He also claimed that the video “clearly exonerates all accused persons.”
All accused persons also claim that Mangoma tried to recruit them in his rebellion against Tsvangirai to no avail.
The State alleges on February 15, Ngadziore, Gorekore, Mafimbidzofa, Mukudu, Jahwi, Nerwande, Chidhakwa and others waylaid Mangoma outside Harvest House and beat him up. He was saved after rushing into Tsvangirai’s vehicle.
They allegedly assaulted Mangoma with open hands and clenched fists.
Mangoma’s spectacles valued at $300 were damaged in the attack.
The State accused the persons of tearing Mangoma’s shirt before he was whisked away in Tsvangirai’s vehicle.