HARARE – Former David Whitehead Textiles chief executive Edwin Chimanye is facing charges for allegedly “dating” a 12-year-old whom he showered with gifts and cash.
The 45-year-old Chimanye – who is now the director of ZUWA chemicals in Borrowdale – would from time to time allegedly treat the girl to braai and fast foods, and bought her a mobile phone for easy communication, a court heard last week.
He would allegedly kiss and fondle the Grade 7 pupil in his car, the court was told. Chimanye who is on US$100 bail last week appeared before magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei for his trial.
He is facing charges of contravening Section 70 (b) of the Criminal Law and Codification and Reform Act, which makes it illegal to commit on a young person any act involving physical conduct that would be regarded by a reasonable person to be an indecent act.
While giving evidence in camera, the girl told the court that Chimanye was her boyfriend. She met met him on January 7 this year after he had followed her in his car. He gave her his business card and ordered her to call him.
She told the court that Chimanye used to pick her up together with her friends and they would go out for braai and sometimes he would take them to food outlets. The girl told the court that Chimanye once asked her to look for a lodge near her residence.
A family friend, who is a State witness, confirmed the pair’s relationship. The witness told the court that the girl introduced Chimanye to her as her boyfriend adding that they used to get money from him to buy food.
The State led by Ms Junior Mugebe applied to tender transcribed text messages as evidence to show that Chimanye and the girl were in love. But Chimanye’s counsel objected to the texts’ admissibility, arguing that the messages should be supplied from Econet, the service provider.
Mr Ndirowei ruled in favour of the defence, dismissing the State’s application, saying that the messages which were transcribed at court from the mobile phone should have been obtained from Econet. Chimanye through his lawyer denied the allegations arguing that he was never in love with the minor.
He did not dispute giving the minor a mobile phone.
“I temporarily lent the complainant my phone when she had asked for airtime and stated that her phone had no multimedia function that was cheaper,” he said.
The trial continues on Monday.
It is the State’s case that on January 7 around 5pm, Chimanye saw the girl walking along Ascot Road in Avondale and he stopped his vehicle and gave her his business card. He contacted the girl and they agreed to meet on January 10 so that they would go out together, it is alleged.
The girl allegedly met Chimanye in Avondale West and according to the State, she told Chimanye that she was doing Form 3 at St John’s Secondary School and she was over 16-years-old. Chimanye allegedly bought her a Nokia Asher for easy communication on WhatsApp.
The State alleges that a family friend saw the girl with this phone, went through the pair’s messages and became aware that the two were love-birds. At times this family friend would send messages asking for money pretending to be the girl.
On January 18, the friend sent Chimanye a message pretending to be the girl asking to be taken out for braai and drinks. Chimanye, the court heard, picked up the girl and her friends on the same day around 7pm and took them to Richwood Park.
The friends went to buy drinks and food leaving Chimanye and the girl in the vehicle and it is alleged that Chimanye fondled and kissed the girl.
The State further alleges that on another day Chimanye asked the girl to send him her nude pictures which she did. The matter came to light when the girl’s parents discovered the mobile phone.