The trial of MDC-T Member of Parliament for Mabvuku-Tafara constituency James Maridadi in which he is being accused of grabbing a National Railways of Zimbabwe parking ticket book started yesterday with the legislator denying the charges.
Maridadi is facing charges of unauthorised borrowing or use of property after allegedly grabbing, in a fit of rage, a “parking ticket book” worth $2,50 from a National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) salesman.
He is on $100 bail.
Maridadi’s lawyer, Ms Auxilia Mangwaira, denied the charges saying her client had reasonable suspicion that the book was stolen from NRZ since it was a passenger’s ticket book resulting in him confiscating it.
“The complainant was illegally collecting parking fees using a passenger’s ticket book which is contrary to the city’s by-laws and regulations,” she said.
The prosecutor, Ms Stylon Marufu, led second witness Amos Tembo to give his testimony. Tembo, who is commercial assistant at the NRZ, said it was him who gave Zivanai Muzokomba the book to receipt parking fees for all those who parked their cars on NRZ premises without any business there.
“I give Muzokomba that book on a daily basis so that he can receipt parking fees to all those who park on our premises without any business to do with us. And on the day in question, he failed to return it but told me James Maridadi had taken it,” he said.
Tembo said the book was a multi-purpose one and users are required to endorse in it what they had used it for. The trial continues today with the State expected to call its first witness.
Allegations are that on October 9 Muzokomba, who is employed by NRZ as a ticket salesman, was manning the NRZ parcels parking zone and was receipting parking fees.
It is alleged that Maridadi parked his vehicle at the NRZ-controlled car park in the central business district of Harare and Mr Muzokomba waited for Maridadi’s return when he asked the legislator to pay the parking fees, but Maridadi became furious and demanded to see the ticket book which the salesman was using.
Mr Muzokomba, the court heard, showed Maridadi the ticket book but the legislator grabbed the book and drove away along Kenneth Kaunda Avenue. It is the State’s case that Muzokomba managed to note down Maridadi’s vehicle registration number and reported the case at Harare Central Police Station.
A Central Vehicle Registry check revealed that the legislator owned the vehicle.