Megistrate saga: Hooker acquitted

Megistrate saga: Hooker acquitted

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ZIMBABWE – Harare provincial magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe yesterday acquitted city hooker Melody Hamandawana who had been accused of robbing a Gokwe magistrate Shepherd Munjanja of cash and valuables worth $330. 

Mr Chikwekwe said Munjanja’s testimony during trial in which he accused the hooker of robbing him of his cash and valuables worth $330 sounded more like a fiction, as it was difficult to understand.

In his judgment, Mr Chikwekwe said the charges facing Hamandawana were different from Munjanja’s version.

“There is real doubt on the versions of both the accused and the complainant. Both the complainant and the accused versions are fiction and difficult to understand.

“The charge materially differs with the complainant’s version. The charge specifically states that accused was armed with empty beer bottles, which she used to threaten the complainant before taking his money.

“It does not state whether she was acting in common purpose or not. There is therefore a discrepancy of what is alleged accused did with what complainant said in court,” he said.

Mr Chikwekwe said Munjanja told the court that when he left Gokwe he had $160 in his pocket and he used $4 to pay for two tollgates and was left with $156 which he claimed was robbed from him by two young men.

“When complainant rushed to the police he hired a taxi. He did not tell us where he got the money to hire a taxi from, and also the amount he mentioned and that of the police officer were totally different.

“What leaves the court in doubt is why the complainant in his capacity as a judicial officer failed to raise alarm with the taxi driver or tell him that he was under siege from the ladies and needed police assistance,” Mr Chikwekwe said.

He added that at the bank there were security officers and the complainant could have simply informed them of his predicament. He also said from the evidence, the person who had taken Munjanja’s ipad was Chipo and the accused would not be privy of the whereabouts of the ipad which was in the custody of Chipo.

“In this respect I cannot say the State proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt. Where there is doubt it is trite that accused should benefit from such doubt, accused is therefore found not guilty and acquitted,” he said.

Allegations were that on October 26 this year, Munjanja was approached by a man who claimed to have a tyre and rim for sale. It is alleged the man lured Munjanja to Treckerel Court.

The flat is used as a brothel, but the man lied to Munjanja that there were offices. The man allegedly shoved Munjanja into a room where Hamandawana and two other women were waiting. Hamandawana and her accomplices reportedly assaulted Munjanja,

accusing him of raping one of them the last time he had visited the brothel.

They went on to steal $156, bank cards, fuel coupons worth $179, a driver’s licence, car keys and a notepad, it is alleged.

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