Gospel musician Amos Mahendere yesterday applied for the suspension of the community service he is doing for pointing a firearm at a commuter omnibus driver. 

Mahendere was recently sentenced to 210 hours of community service for pointing a firearm at a commuter omnibus driver. Mahendere, 36, was also found guilty of assaulting the driver and fined USD 100.

The co-accused Washington Tapfumaneyi, 27, of Unit G and Moses Chonse, 26, of Unit N in Chitungwiza were fined USD 100 each for assaulting the same kombi driver. They must pay the fine by this coming Friday or face two months in prison.

Chitungwiza magistrate, Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, found Mahendere guilty after a trial that started in May. She slapped him with an eight-month jail term, but set aside two months on condition he performs 210 hours of unpaid work. Mahendere was to start the six-week community service last Saturday at Makoni District Development Fund.

In coming up with the sentence, Ms Mugwagwa said she had considered that pointing a firearm at someone could easily lead to shooting. “Mahendere was not present when the brawl started. He came from nowhere and pointed the gun at the complainant,” she said. “Such behaviour is disturbing. What if he had pulled the trigger?”

Charges against Mahendere and his colleagues arose on May 13 this year in Unit G Extension when Chonse and Tapfumaneyi boarded kombi. A misunderstanding with the conductor arose over the volume of the radio. The two disembarked from the kombi together with the conductor.

They exchanged harsh words, prompting the driver to disembark from the bus to restrain his conductor. When Chonse and Tapfumaneyi saw the former coming, they thought he intended to fight them. Tapfumaneyi held the driver’s hands, while Chonse punched him in the face.

Mahendere arrived at the scene armed with a pistol and withdrew it before pointing the weapon at the driver’s chest. He then hit him with the gun’s butt three times on the face. After the assault, Mahendere dragged the driver into the kombi and removed keys from the ignition, before punching him in the face.