By Siphathisiwe Tshuma
Philip Chifamba’s back was against the wall and he let the cat out of the bag.
This was in court where he faced a rape charge. Chifamba, a soldier by profession, was facing a lengthy jail stint for allegedly raping his maid Chido Betera.
In his defence Chifamba argued that Betera was not only an employee but as good as a second wife because she eventually began to perform domestic and conjugal chores at the Chifamba home.
The more Philip enjoyed the forbidden fruit the more careless he became and Betera consequently fell pregnant, a scenario that led her to confess to her family about the alleged rape as the family believed her to be a virgin.
Betera’s aunt was not amused and she reported the matter to the police. However, Betera’s lies were to crumble in court. Testifying in the dock, Antie Gladys Marevangepo revealed her reservations too about her niece’s version of events and facts.
“I cannot tell if Betera was raped or she was in a relationship with Philip because she only called me when I was at a workshop in Harare sometime last month to say she was no longer interested in working for the Chifambas as both Philip and Shantina were abusive and not paying her,” she said.
Gladys spoke after Chifamba’s defence team brought forward evidence to the effect that the two were lovers.
According to Betera, the first rape ordeal occurred on 17 April this year at which time she was allegedly a virgin. Her testimony suggests that she should be five months pregnant.
After that, WhatsApp messages between Chifamba and Betera were read in court. In one of them she was asking him what they should do about the pregnancy. He suggested that it should be terminated because his wife was going to kill her.
The other messages read in court indicated they were in a relationship. From Betera’s phone there were also messages from Chifamba’s wife demanding $5 000 from the maid.
The case was adjourned to 3 October to allow the State to gather more evidence. B Metro