The State prosecution yesterday urged the court to send hip hop artiste Stunner, real name Desmond Chideme, to jail and set an example on him for negligent driving without a valid driver’s licence
Chideme pleaded guilty to negligent driving and driving without a licence following cancellation of his warrant of arrest. He rammed into four parked cars, damaging them while driving a Toyota Lexus registration number ADG 3577.
In mitigation through his lawyer Mr Dumisani Mtombeni, Chideme pleaded for the court’s lenience in sentencing him. He said he was struggling to make ends meet in the music industry.
“The accused person is married with three children and also takes care of his disabled 60–year-old mother he regularly takes to physicians,” said Mr Mtombeni
“Like many of us, he has been hard hit by harsh economic conditions as he can no longer make a living out of CD sales because of piracy. He further owes producers for the work done to come up with his latest album.”
Mthombeni added that Chideme was remorseful and made efforts to rectify the damages sustained.
“The accused person assisted victims by settling their medical bills. He even went further composing a song that raises awareness against road rage in collaboration with Zimbabwe Republic Police,” he said.
The reason why he ended up in this situation was because he had an emergency. His son was said to have collapsed and he wanted to rush home and get the minor to a hospital otherwise that car had been parked ever since its purchase.
“I believe a fine of $100 or less would meet the justice of this offence as it was not premeditated. It was an accident and no one is immune.
”The prosecutor Mrs Devoted Nyagano was having none of that. She urged the court to send Chideme to jail.
“The accused person pleaded guilty not because of contrition but because he was aware that there is no way out since there is overwhelming evidence.
“He is a celebrity who is highly regarded by society and ought to have upheld the law and not driven without a licence.
“There is no proof that he repaired the said vehicles and if the court were to look into a local tabloid today he was photographed behind the wheel meaning he is not repentant. An example should be set because statistics of people driving without licences are on the rise and more people are losing their lives,” she said.
Harare magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta will sentence Chideme today.
Mrs Nyagano told the court that on June 20 this year Chideme was driving along Jason Moyo Avenue in Harare. He lost control of the vehicle and it veered off the road to the right side and hit four vehicles in the parking bay.
As a result of the accident a fifth car hit a pedestrian, Douglas Sachikonye, who was walking on the pavement.Sachikonye suffered a fracture on the pelvis. Another pedestrian Norest Murungweni sustained minor injuries during the accident. Chideme’s car rested on the precast wall of Old Mutual building causing extensive damages