A HARARE magistrate yesterday ordered the release of a car allegedly used by the three women accused of sexually attacking male hitch-hikers to collect semen, to ensure their safe movement.
Provincial magistrate Mr Kudakwashe Jarabini ordered the release of the Toyota Chaser, which was used by Rosemary Chakwizira and two sisters Sophie and Netsai Nhokwara together with their male accomplice, Thulani Ngwenya, in their alleged criminal escapades, saying their safety was at risk.
“Accused sought the release of their vehicle citing that they want to use it for transport to and from court. Accused raised security concerns, mentioned that they were attacked at a bus stop and had to seek refuge at a police station,” said Jarabini.
The suspects had applied to have their vehicle back arguing that they were exposed to the danger of members of the public who have been threatening to harm them.
Last month the three fled for their lives after a mob attacked them at Kudzanayi Bus terminus in Gweru. They ran into a taxi, which took them to Gweru Central Police Station where they sought refuge from the marauding mob.
“The court concurs with the counsel that accused are exposed to the public and are known. Accused’s safety is at risk. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty, they are supposed to be protected from the unruly elements who may want to take the law into their hands,” said Mr Jarabini.
The court, however, barred Netsai from disposing the car until the matter is finalised. He said the State did not proffer any cogent reasons save to say the defence should approach the police. The State says that on March 3 this year at around 7.50am, the four, who were driving a Toyota Spacio without registration numbers, picked a 19-year-old man in Budiriro, Harare.
The teenager was on his way to town. Along the way, the State says they sprayed him with chemicals and he felt dizzy. It is alleged they diverted the route and drove into a bushy area along Mukuvisi River behind Houghton Park where they forced him to drink a concoction, which stimulates sexual desire. They allegedly forced the teenager to be intimate with the three of them using condoms.
After this, they secured the used condoms containing semen before spraying him with the same substance and leaving him unconscious.
When he woke up, the teenager reported the matter to police.
It is alleged that using different cars, the gang terrorised 14 other men using the same tactics.