Soldier on rape charge granted bail

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High Court judge Justice Yunus Omerjee on Tuesday granted $50 bail to a soldier based at 1 Mounted 329B Regiment, Inkomo Barracks, Harare, accused of raping a 21-year-old woman at a lodge in Harare last month.

An earlier bail application by Kennedy Chitsaka (30), who denies the charge, had been turned down by the lower courts.

Justice Omerjee ordered Chitsaka not to interfere with state witnesses.

State counsel Ephraim Zinyandu told the court that sometime last month, Chitsaka allegedly ganged up with 20 other soldiers and besieged a city lodge where they found a couple booked in one of the rooms.

The man allegedly bolted out of the room, leaving his 21-year-old girlfriend behind.

One of the soldiers allegedly pulled the woman outside the room where the other soldiers took turns to assault her before Chitsaka dragged her back into the room and raped her once in the presence of his colleagues.

After the abuse, Chitsaka’s colleagues allegedly robbed the woman of $95 cash and a cellphone and left the scene.

The woman immediately reported the matter to the police, leading to Chitsaka’s arrest.

Meanwhile, three members of 2:1 Infantry Battalion in Rushinga, accused of robbing gold panners at gunpoint on two occasions last month, were granted $100 bail each by the same judge.

Chamunorwa Mushanga (23), Shingai Bhunga (23) and Godknows Katiyo (21) allegedly pounced at the gold panners on March 9 and 12 at Mukaradzi gold panning site armed with an AK-47 rifle and a pistol.

The trio’s luck ran out when villagers apprehended and severely assaulted them before handing them over to the police.