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Freddy seeks discharge

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Freddy seeks discharge

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GOODNESS and Mercy Ministries leader Tapiwa Freddy will be applying for discharge on two counts of raping his ex-girlfriend and physically abusing her now that the State has closed its case, saying that the prosecution has not beXen able to make a case that the woman did not consent and so he does need to rebut their evidence.

Regional Magistrate Mrs Gloria Takundwa will rule on February 8 whether Freddy needs to be put to his defence, or whether he can be acquitted and discharged.

Through his lawyers, Mr Everson Chatambudza, Mr Jivas Mudimu and Mr Marlven Mapako, Freddy indicated that he will make an application for discharge while the State led by Miss Sheilla Mupindu will respond on February 4 before the court makes a ruling.

At the heart of the trial is an agreement that Freddy and the woman were in a consensual relationship at one time, but the woman asserts that the beginning and end of the relationship were non-consensual while Freddy asserts it was.

Testifying as a prosecution witness yesterday was a now former police officer called by Chief Chikwaka when he was still active at his homestead with intention to arrest Freddy once his ex-lover decided to report the matter.

Gibson Jaji chronicled how Chief Chikwaka engaged the police and how the meeting ended with Freddy’s ex- lover failing to formally report the rape to the police. Chief Chikwaka called the police after hearing that a potential suspect to raping his niece was coming from Harare.

Jaji said Chief Chikwaka spoke on the alleged rape and how she was being abused at work by the pastor. The woman spoke on abuse at work, but deferred her uncle on the alleged assault.

Jaji told the court that after the meeting, Freddy denied ever raping his lover and the two at the end of the meeting agreed to resolve their differences amicably and Freddy said he would mend his relationship with the woman’s secretary and superiors.

Jaji told the court that Chief Chikwaka was irked by his niece’s action, and her refusal to formally lodge a report with the police. She told Jaji she would take the matter to the police station of her choice and was not comfortable lodging it with his team.

“She did not give clear answers as to why she was not comfortable, but insisted she was not happy to report to us,” he said.

Jaji said Chief Chikwaka, who was chairing the meeting, decided not to make any decision indicating that he would consult other ‘elders’ and her relatives.

During cross-examination by Freddy’s lawyers, Jaji told the court that Freddy did not admit to the rape allegations during the meeting but did admit to other forms of abuse.

Asked why he did not arrest Freddy on the day of the meeting, Jaji replied that he assessed intimacy might have been consensual.

A psycho-support officer from Family Support Trust, Mrs Alice Muridzo, also testified as a State witness.

She told the court that she started counselling the woman on June 14 last year after she was referred to her when she broke down during a business meeting.

Ms Muridzo said the woman told her that she was being “suffocated” by her relationship with Freddy and that she was considering opting out, but reporting to the police would affect her job and she did not want the matter to come out in the open.

“I took her word because gender based violence brings shame and as a professional, I understood that,” she said.Herald.

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