A HARARE magistrate yesterday acquitted top army officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Rangarirai Kembo, who had been accused of raping his 19-year-old maid, saying the complainant was not a credible witness.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa ruled that the State failed to prove a prima facie case against Kembo, saying the witness’ testimony was pregnant with inconsistencies.
“The witness’ testimony was inconsistent. At one time she said she was penetrated on the anus, but after cross-examination she said on her private parts. Her evidence failed to corroborate the doctor’s report which revealed that there was no penetration,” Mupeiwa said.
“The witness alleged she was raped on August 29 and she had three days to know where she was penetrated and this is not consistent with someone who is a virgin as she alleged.
“I, however, do not believe the evidence of the complainant and I found you not guilty and you are acquitted.”
After the delivery of the judgment, Kembo could be heard heaving a sigh of relief.
He was immediately hugged by family members and friends who had filled the courtroom gallery in a show of solidarity.
The complainant shocked people who were in the gallery last week when she testified that she was raped, but did not know where she was penetrated.
However, a nurse who examined her told the court that the complainant had a healed hymenal tear which was not common with rape victims examined within 48 hours.
Allegations against Kembo had been that on July 29 this year, the complainant was asleep in her bedroom when he arrived home and instructed her to warm his food.
When the complainant went back to sleep after serving him supper, Kembo was alleged to have called her back and ordered her to watch television with him, but she refused.
As she went back to her bedroom, it was alleged Kembo followed her making sexual advances, prompting her to scream for help, but he allegedly went on to forcibly kiss her and rape her once.
After the alleged abuse, Kembo was alleged to have ordered her not to spill the beans, but the complainant immediately filed a police report, culminating in Kembo’s arrest.
Timothy Makoni appeared for the State.