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‘You were not raped, you participated’

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A 28-year-old woman employed by the City of Harare on Tuesday yelled and protested against the acquittal of her former boyfriend who walked out of Harare Magistrates’ Courts free after he was acquitted of two charges of rape.

Farikai Bangezhano (37) nearly wept with joy in Court 15 after the magistrate announced the “not guilty” verdict which did not go down well with complainant.

In her judgment, regional magistrate Estere Chivasa said the woman failed to explain how she was raped and what she did thereafter.

“She clearly struggled to explain to the court. I must state that complainant is aged 28, but the quality of her evidence failed by far to meet that of small children as young as five years.

Her evidence was by far not convincing,” Chivasa said. The magistrate noted on both occasions the woman removed her clothes, an act which was not consistent with someone who had not consented.

“If someone is raped, I cannot see or visualise her removing her own clothes. Further, she was fondled the whole body until they had sexual intercourse and, to make matters worse, sexual intercourse was from behind,” the magistrate said.

“If indeed she was raped honestly from behind, why did she fail to move away even if it meant moving an inch? In other words, a step or two forward could have frustrated the efforts unless she was also involved actively in the act.”

Chivasa said there was nothing in the woman’s evidence to suggest she was tied to somewhere such that she could not move or ward off the accused if she was not enjoying the whole act.

“The impression that I got is that if she cried the cry was not that of raising alarm, but was a cry for something else because there is no evidence anyone heard the cries considering there were other people close by,” the magistrate added.

According to the State, the two former lovebirds had constant problems in their relationship and in April this year, resolved to meet at Bangezhano’s residence to solve them.

The woman is said to have demanded $1 000 from Bangezhano if he intended not to marry her.
On the same day, the two had sexual intercourse, but in June the woman reported to the police she had been raped by Bangezhano, leading to his arrest.

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