…pleads not guilty
Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
The trial for Orchestra Mberikwazvo dancer Selemani “Majuice” Mponchi, who is accused of rape, kicked off yesterday with the complainant testifying that she had been friends with the dancer for three days when he reportedly raped her.
Mponchi pleaded not guilty before Harare regional magistrate Ignatio Mhene.
In denying the charges, Mponchi through his lawyer Ashiel Mugiya, told the court that he never raped the complainant but he had sexual intercourse with her after she had consented to it.
“Accused pleads not guilty to the charge of rape, he never raped the complainant and will tell the court that on the day in question he had sexual intercourse with the consent of the complainant as they were in a love relationship.
“He will tell the court that after the act he accompanied the complainant home and was surprised after a few days when the police contacted him for these allegations of rape.
“From the reading of the state papers it’s quite clear that the complainant was somehow coerced to raise these allegations against him.
“He believes that this was not a free and voluntary report but there was some illegitimate pressure on the complainant and will pray for his acquittal,” said Mugiya reading out the defence outline.
The State, represented by Shepherd Makonde, opened its case by leading evidence from the complainant who testified that the two were friends when the alleged incident occurred.
“We were sharing a friendship that of a brother and sister for about three days and when we met on the third day, he forced himself on me and raped me on August 21 this year.
“I asked him to take me to Kuwadzana where I was supposed to attend a birthday party and he agreed to accompany me and left me there.
“I didn’t feel comfortable at the party because I didn’t know anyone there so we communicated on WhatsApp and I told him that I wasn’t comfortable with the people at the party, he offered to pick me up and take me home.
“On our way he told me that he wanted to pass through a certain house to collect his laptop and he asked me to get in that was when he offered me a drink that he took from the fridge in a tumbler.
“I started having the drink while he went to buy food then I started feeling dizzy and slept and when I woke up he was back from the shops and he started kissing me on the neck the before raping me.
“I was feeling weak from the drink so I couldn’t fight him off so he slid my panties aside and penetrated I don’t know what really happened.
I tried to resist but couldn’t do anything as he was pinning me down,” she said.
The complainant denied ever having consented to the sexual intercourse or being in a love relationship with Mponchi but told the court that he had sent a text message proposing love to her a proposal which she denied because they had just met.
Mugiya through cross examination pointed out the inconsistencies in the complainant’s evidence in chief and on the statement she had given to the police.
She admitted that she had lied to her mother about what really transpired ‘to get her off her back about the ordeal.’
The matter is back in court tomorrow for trial continuation.