Falsely accused ‘rapist’ freed

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THE High Court has freed a Chinhoyi man who was falsely incriminated for rape and slapped with a 10-
year jail term.

Innocent Zvoushe, 19, had served one year of the sentence by October 26 when High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowere set aside his sentence and conviction on appeal.

Zvoushe was convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment before two years were suspended
on condition of good behaviour by the Chinhoyi Magistrates’ Courts.

The court heard that when the offence was alleged to have been committed, Zvoushe was residing at Siso
Farm in Chinhoyi. On August 31 last year, the complainant allegedly passed through a busy road while returning from an all-night prayer and was ambushed by Zvoushe who hid behind a tree.

Zvoushe was accused of grabbing the girl by the neck and dragging her for 400 metres to Manyamba Primary School grounds and forced himself on her.

She later claimed that Zvoushe had raped her on September 3, leading to his arrest. In his defence, Zvoushe admitted being with the girl at Manyamba Primary School grounds at the material time but denied raping or indecently assaulting her.

He told the court that he was being falsely incriminated to protect the girl’s uncle called Ronald, whom she had previously accused of raping her. The nurse who examined the girl testified that she had healed tears which showed previous penetration and could not be related to the time she claimed to have been raped by Zvoushe.

“The complainant had already been sexually abused. She said so herself. Further, the nurse detected that the complainant had previous genital sexual experience. The nurse noted healed tears on the complainant’s vaginal wall. There was no medical evidence of a recent sexual violation of the complainant,” Chikowero ruled.

“The medical report does not contain any evidence tending to show that the definite penetration observed
on the complainant was effected by the complainant. There was a complete absence of the hymen.
Accordingly, the appeal against conviction be and is allowed. The conviction is quashed and the sentence is
set aside. The accused person is found not guilty and is acquitted.”

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