Three women, who were arrested on suspicion of committing a spate of ritualistic sex attacks on male hitchhikers yesterday challenged the Attorney-General’s office to provide them with a trial date.
They said they wanted to clear their tarnished reputation.
Rosemary Chakwizira and two sisters, Sophie and Netsayi Nhokwara, who are being charged alongside their alleged male counterpart, Thulani Ngwenya, were represented by Dumisani Mthombeni and Frank Hwenhira when they appeared for routine remand at Harare magistrates’ court yesterday.
After prosecutor Molyn Mutamangira proposed to remand the matter to December 5 to allow the State to respond to the defence’s application challenging the accused’s placement on remand, Mthombeni came out guns blazing.
“Our instruction is to demand for a trial date of our clients. It is common cause that there has been over-sensationalisation of this matter whereby our clients have been ruthlessly defamed,” Mthombeni fumed.
“Society and the country at large have already labeled them female rapists. Several stories denigrating on their persons and character which amounts to vilification and character assassination have been run by both the print and electronic media.”
Mthombeni said his clients were opposed to continual remand saying this would not clear their names. He argued the only way his clients could clear their allegedly assassinated characters would be to conduct a full trial which he said he was confident they would win and be acquitted.
“We would have failed our clients and it will serve the best interest of justice if our clients are removed from remand or charges against them withdrawn but that will not repair the damage the accused have encountered so far.
Such process would amount to perpetuation of the injustice,” Mthombeni further submitted.
Mutamangira is today expected to respond to the request for a trial date by the accused.
Chakwizira and the Nhokwara sisters were arrested last month and charged with 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault.
They are alleged to have been part of a gang of women that terrorised the country through drugging and sexually abusing men. They were arrested after they arrived at an accident scene in Lower Gweru and allegedly asked police officers to be allowed to retrieve 33 condoms, some of which carried semen.