A 19-YEAR-OLD man from Maphisa, who was being accused of raping a Zanu PF MP from Matabeleland South, has been acquitted on the technicality of mistaken identity.
BY KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
The teenager’s lawyer, Prince Bushe-Dube, said the case was last week dismissed by Gwanda regional magistrate Mark Dzira after it emerged that the police officers handling the matter had bungled the investigations.
“Our defence was that of mistaken identity,” he said.
Bushe-Dube added: “We argued that the police had arrested a wrong person. This happened at 2am, there was no source of light, no moon, no tower light; it was a question of mistaken identity. Our argument seemed to be confirmed by the witnesses. The first State witness said the accused was wearing brown three-quarter trousers, the second said the accused had red three-quarter trousers, and the third witness said he was wearing orange three-quarter trousers.”
Bushe-Dube said the State’s case collapsed as a result of inconsistent evidence due to the failure by the police to do their work thoroughly.
“It is not fair for the complainant to have such tardy investigations around her case. This is a case which could have been resolved through the use of DNA tests since the doctor gave evidence that he had recovered some semen from the complainant within two hours of the alleged rape. The doctor, however, did not hand over the semen to the police.
“The police, on their part, did not subject the accused person to the process of extracting semen for DNA purposes.
This is one of the cases that exposes police incompetence leading to possible injustice to the complainant.”
The State had alleged that on November 11 last year, the complainant left Thutshu night club in Maphisa in the company of three other people.
When they got to a football pitch at Maphisa growth point, they started singing traditional songs and two of them got into a trance and fell down, leaving the complainant without an aide.
The State alleged that it was at this time that the teenager emerged from the dark night and raped the legislator at knifepoint.
Mncedisi Dube prosecuted.