The trial of a suspected Chikombedzi serial rapist failed to take off at Chiredzi Provincial Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday after bungling by the investigating officers led to the accused walking free.
It was the State case that the 65-year-old man repeatedly raped his daughter and two grandchildren for the past 24 years.
The suspect, from Daniel village under headman Masimane in Chikombedzi was arrested on January 4, but was only brought to court on January 7, and had been arrested on allegations of raping his now 40-year- old daughter and his two grandchildren.
He was set free by the court after Chiredzi prosecutor Moreblessing Rusere noted that the accused had been detained for more than 48 hours.
Police will now proceed by way of summons.
Allegations are that between 1993 and 2017, the accused raped his daughter from the time she was 16, and later impregnated her.
It is also alleged that from time to time, the accused who used to work in South Africa, raped his two grandchildren, resulting in one of them falling pregnant.
The rape is alleged to have continued after the accused returned home, leading to one of the grandchildren aged 20 reporting the matter to a neighbour, who later tipped off the police leading to his arrest.
According to the prosecutor, the accused’s continued detention for over 48 hours was in violation of the rights of arrested and detained persons as defined in Section 50 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20).
The prosecutor further stated that the section clearly states that any person who is arrested for an alleged offence must be brought before the court as soon as possible, and not later than 48 hours after the arrest or detention, even if the period ends on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.