'Lt Col has case to answer'

HARARE - Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa yesterday ruled that lieutenant-colonel Rangarirai Kembo — who is being charged with rape — had a case to answer.

He threw out his application for discharge at the close of the State’s case.

Kembo’s lawyer, Emmanuel Samundombe, had moved for his client’s acquittal at the end of the State’s case, arguing that the complainant, 19, was not consistent and reliable in her evidence.

“The court is not mandated to look at the witness’ credibility at the moment and if a person was sexually active before, it does not mean that she cannot be raped,” Mupeiwa ruled.

“Evidence presented in court shows that there was no consent and penetration was confirmed — which are the essential elements of a rape case.

“There are a lot of questions which were unanswered by the accused person like issues concerning the alibi he proffered in his defence.

“The accused person just mentioned that he was not present at the scene on the alleged date that issue was never battered during cross-examination of the complainant.

“Part of the complainant’s evidence can be believed and accused person will be placed on his defence.”

Kembo will open his defence case today.

Prosecutor Timothy Makoni alleged that on July 29 around 9pm, the woman was asleep in her bedroom. Kembo then called her.

The court heard that she went into the dining room where Kembo was seated and he told her to warm his food.

She reportedly served Kembo some food and went back to sleep.

But within a few minutes, the woman was summoned back to collect the plates.

She returned to sleep but was called again by Kembo, who asked her to watch television with him but she refused.

The woman went back to sleep but was awakened by Kembo, who was standing in her bedroom, the court heard.

He allegedly started telling her that she was well-behaved and had been raised well.

The court heard that Kembo advanced towards the woman and began fondling her breasts.

The complainant began crying, the court heard, and tried to fight Kembo but was overpowered and raped, the court heard.

After the incident, Kembo allegedly ordered the woman not to tell anyone about the incident. He reportedly left for his bedroom.

She later filed a police report and Kembo was subsequently arrested.

The complainant was referred for medical examinations and an affidavit compiled will be produced in court.

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