By Michelle Gwizi
A 25 year old man who appeared in court for allegedly raping his ex-girlfriend who reported the incident after four years, has been acquitted after a full trial.
Mufaro Mutanda, who initially had pleaded not guilty before Bulawayo Regional magistrate, Mrs Sibonginkosi Mnkandla, was found not guilty on April 15.
“The accused person was before the court facing a rape charge. He pleaded not guilty. Both the State and the defence witnesses filed closing submissions. The State in its submissions concluded that they failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The accused person has been found not guilty and acquitted,” said the magistrate.
Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said sometime in December 2015 at around 8PM, the complainant (22) received a phone call from Mutanda who was her boyfriend then, telling her that he was on his way to pick her up for a braai.
“Mutanda picked her up from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) campus where the complainant was a student at that time.
“They drove to a place that the complainant could not recognise because it was already dark. The accused person and his two male friends started chatting outside the car. When they got back in the car they stated that they had no fuel to take complainant back to campus.
“Mutanda and his friend suggested that they were going to spend the night at Reynolds Inn in Barham Green suburb and promised to accompany her back to campus on the next day.
“Payments were made and rooms divided. Accused person and the complainant shared the same bed for the night,” said Mr Manyiwa.
In the morning, he said, the complainant woke up to find Mutanda on top of her. She allegedly asked him what he was doing but he did not respond.
“Mutanda went on to undress her and raped her without protection,” Mr Manyiwa said.
He said as he was allegedly raping her, Mutanda was pressing her to the bed, holding her arms telling her to relax since she was fighting and she sustained bruises on the arm.
They later accompanied her to her place near the campus. Complainant was found by her friend in the bathroom crying before revealing what had happened.
Mr Manyiwa said the complainant spent years attempting to commit suicide until this year when she reported the matter to the police as a means to find peace and closure. The Chronicle