Zimbabwe: Journalist Mukondiwa Faces Indecent Assault Charges

JOURNALIST Robert Mukondiwa yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court facing allegations of aggravated indecent assault of an orphaned 19-year-old Upper Sixth pupil, who had visited his apartment in the Harare’s Avenues area at the request of a woman in the diaspora who had promised to arrange payment of his school fees.

Mukondiwa appeared before magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko, who remanded him in custody to April 12 and told him only the High Court could grant bail on these charges.

The charges centre on allegations made by the 19-year-old that Mukondiwa had attempted non-consensual sexual contact.

The State alleges that during July last year, the 19-year-old orphan sent a message on social media seeking assistance to pay school fees. Then last month Ms Tsungai Mutasa introduced herself to the teenager via WhatsApp and offered him assistance to pay the fees. She allegedly told the young man that she stays in the United Kingdom and that she wanted to verify whether he really wanted assistance from someone in Zimbabwe.

The court heard that Ms Mutasa then directed the orphan to Mukondiwa.

On March 2, he visited Mukondiwa at his flat along John Landau Nkomo Avenue where he found him watching gay movies with male friends.

It is alleged that Mukondiwa offered him wine, which was declined, but the 19-year-old did join in the beer drinking at the flat later, before going for more beers at a nearby shebeen.

They later returned to the apartment around 11pm and he was shown a room to sleep in.

The State alleges that the orphan retired with his clothes on before Mukondiwa joined him in bed and initiated non-consensual sexual contact, only stopping when the 19-year-old screamed. After the alleged assault, Mukondiwa allegedly begged him not to tell anyone and they slept.

It is said in the morning, Mukondiwa handed the orphan US$20 before he left the flat. The orphan is said to have told Ms Mutasa that he was no longer comfortable being assisted by Mukondiwa.

Ms Mutasa then engaged someone called Frank who stays in South Africa, to whom he spoke of the alleged sexual attack.

The orphan lodged a complaint against Mukondiwa on March 17 leading to his arrest.

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