Zimbabwe: Magistrate Acquitted On Bashing, Kidnapping Maid Claims

Esigodini resident magistrate, Tawanda Muchemwa, who has been facing charges of kidnapping and assaulting his housemaid, was on Wednesday acquitted of both charges.

Harare regional magistrate, Lucy-Anne Mugwari who presided over the case at Tredgold Magistrates court in Bulawayo, ruled that there were a lot of inconsistencies in the state witnesses' testimonies.

"The state failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused. The state witnesses including the investigating officer gave conflicting versions," said magistrate Mugwari.

Muchemwa, through his lawyer, Tanaka Muganyi of Tanaka Law Chambers, had denied the charges saying the charges were cooked up to soil the image of his client.

Appearing for the state, Thabekani Nyathi had told court that on 8 May 2018 at around 1620 hours, the maid wanted to take Muchemwa's children for a bath. The children refused and started pouring water on the floor.

"The complainant then advised the children's mother Petronella Muchemwa who then replied the complainant that she was troubling her children and she was going to call the accused and report her," said Nyathi.

The prosecutor told the court that Muchemwa's wife phoned her husband who arrived home at 1710 hours and started assaulting the maid with his belt several times all over her body.

The court heard that the mad told her boss that she could not work for $80 monthly pay and be assaulted same time.

It is said Muchemwa further assaulted the maid.

"On the 11th May 2018 at around 0800 hours, the accused person ordered the complainant to lock the gate and hand over the key to him.

"A few minutes later, accused person unlocked the gate and went inside the house where the complainant was and told her not to talk or attend to anyone who comes at the house and further not to furnish her particulars and residential address to anyone who calls her on her mobile phone," Nyathi told the court.

He told the court that thereafter Muchemwa went to lock up the maid inside the house and went away with the keys.

The complainant then phoned her sister's mother Primrose Gwese who reported the case to the police.

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