A 55-YEAR-OLD Waddilove High school teacher who was being accused of indecent assault against a Lower Six female learner was acquitted by Marondera Magistrate Sharon Rakafa who in her ruling described the matter as “work politics”.
Patrick Nyahwo, an award-winning English Literature teacher at the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe-run institution, returned to work on February 7 after he was cleared by the courts.
He had been on suspension for three months pending finalisation of the court case.
According to the ruling in possession of NewsDay, the allegations against Nyahwo raised by the learner (name withheld) were fabricated and could be a result of work politics.
“The accused could be guilty, but the burden of proof in criminal cases is proof beyond reasonable doubt. The standard of proof, thus has not been reached in casu, there are a lot of lacings in the State case.
“There is a possibility that the allegations could be a result of work politics. The doubt that exists works in the accused’s favour.
“In casu thus the court has decided to err on the caution and exonerate accused on the charges. In the foregoing, accused is found not guilty and acquitted.”
According to the ruling, it emerged that some of the witnesses in the case revealed that they were influenced to testify against Nyahwo by one of the teachers.
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“In casu, accused has no onus to convince the court that Ms Shumbamhini fabricated lies, his defence was corroborated by one of the key witnesses [name withheld] who attributed her statement to her.
“It, therefore, follows that Ms Shumbamhini might have scores to settle. There is thus a possibility that accused’s defence is reasonably possible that it might be true,” read the ruling.
According to a letter produced in court by one of the learners who were witnesses in the case (name withheld), the complainant was coerced by some of the teachers to raise allegations against Nyahwo.
“I know this girl (complainant) is creating a story that you abused her. But I know that is not true. There are some teachers that are persuading her to raise stories against you. But the Bible says the Lord will take refuge to their servants,” the letter read.
According to court papers, on October 13 last year, Nyahwo allegedly summoned the complainant alongside others to his office to work on their public speaking speeches they had submitted.
It is alleged that, Nyahwo sent some of the students on an errand while the complainant remained in his office.
It is reported that he hugged the complainant and caressed her buttocks.