HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
MABHIKWA & MUZENDA JJ
HARARE, 8 May 2018
MUZENDA J: On 12 April 2018 the accused was arraigned before the provincial magistrate at Chinhoyi Magistrate’s Court on circuit at Banket facing eight charges of assault as defined in s 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23], a further count of malicious damage to property as defined in s 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, and the tenth charge for theft as defined in s 113 of the same Act, cited above. He pleaded guilty to the charges, and on the summary jurisdiction relating to the tenth count, that is charge for theft there is an inscription “WDBP” but the manuscript authored by the learned provincial magistrate indicates that all the charges were read and understood and the accused pleaded not guilty to count 10.
The prosecution applied for separation (maybe of charges) that is removing counts 3, for assault of Pike Mutaramutswa, count 5, for malicious damage of property, that is of 6 chickens, belonging to James Adam and count 10, theft of $200 belonging to Jack Masangano.
It is not clear from the record of proceedings as to what happened to the separated counts whether those 3 counts were referred to trial or withdrawn.
The learned provincial magistrate treated all counts for sentence, and sentenced the accused to 42 months imprisonment of which 12 months were suspended for 5 years on condition accused does not within that period commit any offence involving violence upon the person of another and for which upon conviction he is sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine.
The accused was not legally, represented. The trial court did not explain to the accused the provisions of s 163 A of the Criminal Procedure and, Evidence Act, [Chapter 9:07] nor did it explain to the accused the requirements of s 191 of the same Act. The record shows that the