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ACQUITTED: Harare evangelist acquitted of rape

By Munyaradzi Doma
HARARE – An Apostolic Pentecostal Church of God Evangelist who was facing charges of raping a 25 year-old congregate has been cleared of the allegations.

Louis Mudzongo, who was represented by Everson Chatambudza of Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, was acquitted after the lawyer successfully applied for discharge after the state closed its case.

In passing the ruling, Harare magistrate Adonia Masawi said there was no evidence which was led to prove the essential elements of the case of rape.

The court ruled that while the complaint had testified that she was raped, the evidence of second witness, Pastor Phebion Mavhimira was to the contrary, as the latter said the former had told him that she had committed adultery with Lewis.
Louis Mudzongo
It was ruled by the court that the two’s evidence “was different in every material aspect and that the second witness’s testimony matched some paragraphs of the complainant’s statements.”

Turning to the third and last witness, whose wife is a friend to the complainant, the court ruled that “his evidence did not carry weight at all if not inadmissible.”

It was ruled that with many inconsistencies in the States evidence, it showed that “the complainant’s evidence was unreliable”.

“State’s evidence as a whole is unreliable, such that the court cannot safely rely on such evidence, therefore the accused is discharged at the close of the State’s case,” added magistrate Masawi.

State prosecutor Tinashe Kanyemba Makiya closed the (State’s) case after leading three witnesses, the complainant, Pastor Phebion Mavhimira and a man whose wife is a friend to the complainant.

Chatambudza had described the allegations against his client as “concocted”.

“The accused will deny the allegations in toto. He will tell the court that he proposed love to the complainant and the proposal was accepted.

“The accused will further tell the court that he had consensual sex with the complainant,” submitted Chatambudza on behalf of Lewis.

Chatambudza also told the court that his client just had a misunderstanding with the complainant, after she fell pregnant and then she “decided to concoct the allegations of rape, but their sex was by consent.”

And indeed the court found Lewis not guilty of any rape and last Friday, he walked out the Harare magistrates’ court a free man.

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