GWERU: Following the incarceration of MDC Alliance Ward 16 Councillor, Tawanda Magidi over domestic violence, the wife, Vongai Muchaneta is crying foul after she claims to have been excluded from the sentencing proceedings.
Magidi was charged with physical abuse as defined in section 3(1) (a) as read in Section 4(1) of the Domestic Violence Act Chapter 5:16 for fracturing Vongai Muchaneta’s back with a garden pick handle in December 2021.
The Councillor was initially slapped with 12 months imprisonment and 6 months were suspended for 5 years on the condition that he does not commit such an offence within that period.
Two months were further suspended on the condition of good behaviour, leaving the accused with a 4-month jail term to serve.
Muchaneta expressed her disappointment with the court proceeding and the sentence itself, wishing it had been longer given the extent of the damage she was left in.
“I am not happy with the sentence that was handed by the court. This issue was not handled fairly as I was not given a chance to be in court during the sentencing. They only came to notify me that they had granted him 6 months of imprisonment while they had left me sitting outside,” she said.
The misunderstanding arose when Magidi accused Muchaneta of failing to properly cook meat he had brought home for supper.
The accused went on to physically assault the victim, who was 32 weeks pregnant at the time of events.
After the altercation, Muchaneta fled to Bikita and sought refuge at her rural home where a medical doctor, Blessing Munyaviri at Silveira Mission confirmed that she had a fractured bone and advised her to make a police report.
Over the past years, gender-based violence has been a topical issue in Zimbabwe, with the country experiencing a worrisome surge during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Agness Muwuya, Gender-Based Violence Cluster Chairperson under Women ‘s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) said couples should not resort to violence whenever conflicts arise.
“We always advocate for conflict resolution where people solve their disputes amicably. Domestic violence does not solve anything,” said Muwuya.