HARARE regional magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka last week acquitted Zanu PF Hwange district co-ordinating committee chairperson Mathew Muleya of rape charges. He was being accused of raping a Zimbabwe Republic Police band member.
Muleya was being jointly charged with band supervisor Cuthbert Gwidi. In acquitting Muleya, the magistrate said the witnesses gave contradictory statements.
“The first State witness is not a competent and credible witness given her own confession to lying several times and contradicting herself on oath. As a general rule, it is undesirable to rely solely and entirely on the evidence of the complainant,” she said.
Chakanyuka further ruled that the evidence by the first witness was contradicted by all the other State witnesses, diminishing its probative value. It was alleged that in 2018, the Police Band performed at a Zanu PF fundraising dinner where Muleya was a delegate and after the event, the band members were dismissed, but Gwidi invited the complainant to the hotel where she was raped twice.
The court heard that the woman discovered that she had been infected with a sexually transmitted disease three days later. During trial, the State led evidence from four witnesses — complainant, two band members and the complainant’s husband. The complainant claimed that Muleya and Gwidi sexually abused her.
The complainant told the court that she was given US$5 to pay for a taxi ride from the hotel. Through their lawyer Givemore Muvhiringi, Muleya and Gwidi applied for discharge at the close of the State case in terms of section 198(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
In defence, they told the court that there was no Zanu PF congress in 2018, neither was there any fundraising dinner and this was corroborated by three State witnesses.
Source Southern eye
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