THE couple at the centre of the infamous Cresta Lodge fight yesterday testified in the matter in which the husband is being accused of damaging hotel property during the brawl.
Knowledge Mabhara pleaded not guilty before Harare magistrate Caroline Matanga.
The complainant is Cresta Lodge, represented by Ronald Mate.
Allegations are that on March 19, Mabhara checked into Room 225, at Cresta Lodge, Msasa, at around 4pm.
At around 7pm, Mate heard commotion from the room and saw Mabhara assaulting his wife.
After the scene was attended, the hotel realised he had damaged a wardrobe shelf and a safe.
Mabhara testified as the first witness in his defence case and told the court he was booked in the hotel with ‘‘someone’’ when the fracas occurred.
“I was booked at Cresta lodge and I was with someone in the room at around 8pm, in Room 225,” he said.
“We then ordered food so we were expecting room service.
“The lady I was with opened the door, under the assumption that it was room service, and the people who were at the door pushed her and started beating her up,” he said.
Asked if he knew who the people were, Mabhara told the court the three people who got into the room were his wife, her friend Chelsea and another woman he didn’t know.
“They were pushing her towards the wardrobe and it cracked a bit and she went out running.
“Then, the two other women ran after her leaving my wife behind.
“I ran after them trying to assist the lady I was with but returned as I was only half-dressed and found out that my wife had locked herself in the room.
“I asked security to open the door from the outside but they couldn’t.
“That was when the woman I was with decided to report the matter to the police because my wife’s friends had taken her belongings, including her phones and laptop,” he said.
He added that the ladies who came to beat up his companion were the ones who damaged the property in question.
“I want to sue the hotel, that’s why they are lying that I damaged the property. They even offered me a complimentary free night and why would they do that if I damaged their property as alleged?
“I will not pay because they allowed someone into my room without my permission,” he said.
In cross examination, prosecutor Sherlyn Sadomba questioned why Mabhara claimed that Cresta Lodge employees were the ones who told his wife that he was at the hotel with another woman?
Mabhara’s wife, Monalisa Mwadzira, testified in the defence case and told the court that she was called by a friend, who had seen her husband at the hotel.
She told the court that they got the room number from the reception and went there.
“We got the room number and went to the room and said it was room service and the door was opened.
“I was with my friend Chelsea and another lady, whom she was with, and that lady started chasing the woman, who was with my husband. I started questioning my husband about what he was doing there as he had told me that he was at work and I locked myself in the room,” she said.
The matter was remanded to August 12 for judgment. – H-Metro