Lt Colonel acquitted of rape charges

HARARE - A Lieutenant-Colonel who had been on trial for allegedly raping his maid on Thursday walked free after the court ruled the State had failed to prove the case against and him and that the complainant had lied about the offence.

Lt Col Rangarirai Kembo was accused of raping a 19-year-old maid who alleged that he had forced himself on her in one of his spare bedrooms.

The woman testified before Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa that the senior army officer raped her after allegedly flattering her that she was well behaved.

But Kembo’s defence team led by Emmanuel Samundombe questioned the woman’s credibility.

Mupeiwa noted that prosecutor Timothy Makoni had failed to prove a case against Kembo and emphasised that the woman’s evidence reflected she had lied.

“For offence of rape to be proved, penetration and the absence of consent must be established. The complainant said this was her first sexual experience but considering the time that she was medically examined, the medical practitioner should have noted fresh hymeneal tears,” Mupeiwa ruled.

“What this shows is that the complainant was not telling the truth at all considering she was examined timeously. Fresh injuries should have been noted. The complainant’s evidence is not credible and highly suspicious and there was no corroboration from the medical report. The State has failed to prove its case and accused person will be acquitted.” Kembo denied the rape claims at commencement of trial saying the woman had allegedly connived with his detractors to fabricate charges against him.

On the day of the alleged offence, Kembo told Mupeiwa that he had travelled to Shamva and returned home very late that he never saw the complainant. 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 claimed was summoned back to collect the plates.

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

The woman said she 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 and tried to fight Kembo but was overpowered and raped, the court heard during the trial.

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 was produced in court.

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