Three Kadoma artisanal gold miners, who were captured on a video narrating how they had sexually assaulted commercial sex workers in the area, yesterday filed an application for bail at the High Court pending trial.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The suspects – Prince Chikomo (18), Romeo Chirara (18) and Admire Chirongoma (18) – who are being represented by Tawanda Takaindisa have pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared before a Kadoma magistrate Amos Mbobo recently.
The trio is being charged together with Thabani Gazi (20) who is not represented.
In their application to the High Court, the trio submitted that the allegations against them are malicious and fabricated.
They further submitted that the allegations arose from the fact that Gazi paid a prostitute $10 and was not given the service since the woman went away with a soldier.
The accused said it was at this stage that Gazi then demanded his money back from the complainant. They said a dispute ensued between Gazi and the woman.
“The applicants never requested sexual favours from the complainants who are seasoned prostitutes nor did they fail to pay them on other occasions they had sexual intercourse,” the trio submitted.
They said they were assaulted by the hired soldiers, who stage-managed the confessions in fear of their lives.
The four suspects were remanded to November 3 for routine remand.
Allegations against the four arose on July 4 this year when they allegedly entered the girls’ room at Mungwanya Compound in Battlefields armed with machetes, knives and empty beer bottles.
The victims were allegedly asleep. It is the State’s case that the accused ordered one of the girls’ clients to hide behind a curtain in the room. The court heard that they subsequently attacked the girls before gang-raping them.
It is the State’s case that the four used protection during the sexual encounters. Although the sex workers cried out for help, they were unfortunately subdued by the marauding quartet.
The gang then helped themselves to four Nokia mobile phone handsets, before disappearing into the night. News of the assault came to light when the girls, who were not named, made a report to the police the following morning.