BY SINDISO DUBE CONTROVERSIAL rapper Desmond Chideme populary known as Stunner, who was recently acquitted of assault charges, says the allegations were fabricated to tarnish his image.
Stunner was arrested and dragged to court in April following allegations that he had assaulted his wife Dyonne Tafirenyika at Focalistic’s show where he was a supporting artist.
He was accused of thrashing his wife and plucking off her artificial nails after she refused to surrender her mobile phone.
A video went viral on social media, which shows the rapper insulting and charging at his wife at the concert venue (Harare International Conference Centre).
However, Stunner vehemently denied the allegations. His lawyer Dumisani Mtombeni insisted that the allegations were false and meant to tarnish his client’s image.
Stunner was eventually set free after Harare Magistrate Evelyn Mashayakure ruled that Tafirenyika’s evidence to support her claim that she was assaulted by Stunner was weak and inconsistent.
In her ruling the magistrate said:
“It is noted that the parties’ relationship had turned sour. There was also a matter that the accused believed that his wife was cheating. It is highly encouraged that if relationships turn sour they should be talks.
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“There was no evidence that was led in connection to this assault and the court wonders why these people did not come to testify. There are inconsistencies in Tafirenyika’s testimonies. Clearly, the evidence of the medical affidavit does not support what the complainant told the court.
“There is insufficient evidence to point out that the accused could have assaulted the complainant. The court is convinced that the accused is not guilty hence he is acquitted.”
In a press statement, the rapper said the allegations were false and meant to destroy his image.
“I am innocent and it has now been proven. The allegations against me as has now been proven in court were wholly false, completely fabricated, and engineered to tarnish my image, take my voice away, lower my esteem in the eyes of the public, impact my income, and punish me for raising legitimate concerns about my marriage, which has now rightly ceased,” Stunner said.
“While I was distraught at the beginning, I found comfort in reflection. I realised that I was not alone, that many men are subject to malicious persecution by prosecution. Being arraigned before a criminal court is undesirable for most men, who choose instead to settle or plead guilty and receive a fine. Several women in this country are weaponizing the judicial system knowing men do not have a voice anymore, and that men, bent on protecting their family, often opt out of the brutal arena that is a criminal trial. I experienced this first hand as false allegations were plastered all over social media. I was hamstrung – unable to respond as my case was sub judice.”
Stunner added that he took the fight that started on social media to the court of law.
“I made the choice to not fight in the court of public opinion, but to fight in the court of law, where the argument is not emotion but fact, truth, and law. This fight came at great cost, but I believe in making right by history and vindication,” he said.
I did not assault the mother of my child, and history and the justice system will have it on record forever – that I am innocent. I made the choice to prove my innocence, whatever the cost, not for me, but for every male victim of malicious allegations out there.”