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Published On: Mon, Mar 9th, 2015

Touts’ Freedom Bid Fails

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A bid for discharge by two touts accused of stripping a woman at a bus terminus hit a snag on Friday after the court ruled that the pair have a case to answer.

Marvellous Kandemiri (32) and Blessing Chinodakufa (31) allegedly harassed the woman at Simon Vengai Muzenda Street (formerly Fourth Street) rank.

In her ruling, Harare magistrate Ms Renika Dzikiti told the court that the totality of the evidence shows that the accused were not only present at the crime scene but actually interacted with the woman.

“Evidence was not only limited to the three minutes of the video footage,” she said.

The matter proceeds to the defence case tomorrow.

The magistrate’s ruling was consistent with State’s submissions that other things which happened to the woman were not captured in the video.

Prosecutor Ms Kudzayi Chigwedere told the court that only the woman is competent to tell the court how the incident happened.

Ms Chigwedere’s submissions were a response to defence lawyer Mr Nathaniel Chogoro’s application for discharge on the basis that the woman’s evidence was “unreliable” because she was confused.

Ms Chigwedere added that when the woman arrived at the bus terminus, a man wearing a grey T-shirt and a pair of jeans, Kandemiri, called her but she ignored him.

“At that stage no one at the rank was interested in her. Kandemiri was the first to call her a prostitute, attracting the attention of other touts.

“At this state of the incident the woman was composed and identified her caller, she was not yet confused,” she said.

Furthermore, Ms Chigwedere added that if it was not for Kandemiri who called the woman the incident would not have happened.

“Chinodakufa is the one who lifted the woman’s dress exposing her pant and tearing the under garment. Both accused have a case to answer and must be put to their defence,” she said.

Ms Chigwedere alleged that the incident happened on December 17 last year.

The woman was on her way to Ruwa and although she made efforts to cover herself up, the accused persons continued pulling her dress up to her waist and lowering her panties.

The court heard that the woman tried to escape into a parked commuter omnibus, but she was pulled out and she fell to the ground. She managed to flee into another commuter omnibus where the driver and the conductor asked her to pay $2 so that they could whisk her to safety.

The offence came to light after a video captured while the woman was being tormented went viral on social media networks.

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