T Freddy to seek discharge

PROMINENT preacher Tapiwa Freddy,  pictured,who is accused of raping radio personality Rutendo Makuti, continues to fight for freedom and wants the court to throw away the case after the State closed its case yesterday.

Represented by Everson Chatambudza, Jivas Mudimu and Malvern Mapako, Freddy denied the rape and assault charges before regional magistrate Gloria Takundwa and will file his application for discharge on January 31.

The State led by Sheila Mupindu will respond to the application on February 4 and the court will rule on February 8.

 Yesterday, the State led three witnesses, including a former police officer Gibson Jaji, who was reportedly called at Chief Chikwaka’s homestead when Freddy was allegedly summoned over the rape accusations.

He told the court that Freddy never admitted to raping Makuti during their meeting which was contrary to what Makuti averred.

“Freddy never admitted to the rape allegations. He told us that he had resolved with the complainant that they would fix their issues in private without our interference. He promised to talk to the complainant’s bosses and also address his personal assistant whom the complainant said used to call her names, but never admitted the rape allegations,” Jaji said.

He also told the court that there was no reason to arrest the preacher at the chief’s house as Makuti did not make a formal report.

“As an experienced police officer I did not see the reason to arrest the accused person as there was no formal complaint against him and they had indicated that they were going to resolve their issues without our interference,” said Jaji.

A counsellor from Family Support Trust, Alice Muridzo, who reportedly attended to Makuti, was also called by the State as a witness with the defence challenging her independence as their organisation was working with ZBC in having a show about rape victims.

She told the court that Makuti was referred to her by her director after she had reportedly broken down during a meeting and held several sessions with her.

Muridzo said Makuti told her that she had been violated by a prominent person and was in a “suffocating” relationship which she wanted to end.

Muridzo told the court that she “encouraged” Makuti to report to the police, but did not push her as she is an adult and that she revealed the name of her alleged tormentor in October last year.

“Rutendo told me that she was in a helping relationship with a prominent person who helped her even when her husband died. She said along the way, the prominent person forced himself on her. She was in a suffocating relationship as the person was always calling her asking about her whereabouts and would come to her home unannounced and wanted to end it,” she said.

A digital forensic expert Tafadzwa Victor also testified yesterday on the originality of audio recordings that were played in court during the state case. He said the audios were not tampered with, but it was difficult to ascertain if they came from the phone or shared through platforms such as WhatsApp.


Dionne Kanyowa