12 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Model Says No to Abortion Tests

The model who allegedly connived with her boyfriend to terminate her pregnancy and burn the foetus, is refusing to go for tests to ascertain whether or not she gave birth. This follows prosecutor Mr Tungamirai Chakurira's application for a medical examination to prove the State's case, when Gamuchirai Maziva (25) and her boyfriend Nyasha Maridadi (23) appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma.

Maziva was Miss February Face of Zimbabwe.

Through their lawyer, Advocate Isiah Mu-reriwa of Scanlen and Holderness, the pair opposed the application arguing the tests would prejudice Maziva's Constitutional rights.

"He seeks for an application to compel a human being to be examined as if she is an animal when she has constitutional rights," argued Adv Mureriwa.

"We intend to be told on the nature of the examinations and if it is by way of blood tests we will comply, instead of the nature where there is insertion of medical instruments into her private parts."

Adv Mureriwa also argued that it would be archaic for the court to make such an order.

"In a democratic country such an examination would be undemocratic because the treatment would be degrading and inhuman."

Adv Mureriwa requested that the matter be referred to the Supreme Court saying the rights of his clients might be infringed.

Earlier on, Mr Chakurira had said the medical examinations would ascertain if Maziva gave birth or not.

"The evidence we seek to extract is very crucial. The court has an interest hence wanting examinations conducted on the accused for the interest of justice.

"The kind of tests to be conducted on her would be determined by those who will examine her and not by legal practitioners.

"We are in court because the case is on remand and investigations are still underway.

"If human rights were sacrosanct as they are painting they would not have appeared in court without wearing khakis," Mr Chakurira said.

The couple is charged with unlawful termination of pregnancy and contravening Section 8 of the Burial and Cremation Act, which prohibits "Dumping of Bodies and Hindering of Burial".

The State alleges that on September 15, Maziva and Maridadi, who are out of custody on US$100 bail apiece, connived to terminate her pregnancy. After the abortion, the pair allegedly placed the foetus in a metal office bin and drove their white Nissan March to a gum tree plantation within Zimphos complex, in Msasa where they dumped it before setting it ablaze.

Witnesses who saw Maziva and Maridadi taking the bin to the bush, followed up and discovered a foetus among the burning rubbish. Ms Tshuma deferred the matter to tomorrow for ruling.

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