Home » Judicial » Mini-Skirt Touts’ Lawyer Demands Public Trial

A LAWYER representing one of the two touts standing trial “in camera” on charges of harassing a Harare woman, has insisted that the matter “deserved to be heard in public”.

Marvellous Kandemiri and co-accused, Blessing Chinodakufa, all in custody, are charged with indecent assault. The duo stand accused of being part of a group of touts who, late last year, accosted a woman at Fourth Street bus terminus before stripping her naked.

The incident, which went viral on the social media, led to a public outcry from local gender activists and ordinary Zimbabweans.

Kandemiri’s defence attorney, Nathaniel Chigoro said the case deserved to be heard in public as it had stirred debate within the city.

“This matter has been highly publicised and my client has really suffered. I don’t see why the matter has to be heard in camera,” said Chigoro.

“I think the publicity it has got deserves that public be in the know as to how it is progressing. There has already been a public trial and conviction particularly in the media.

“If the complainant was below the age of 18, there was a g reason for the matter to be heard in camera.”

For the State Kudzai Chigwedere had successfully filed an application before magistrate Rekina Dzikiti for proceedings to be conducted in camera in order to protect the woman’s identity.

It is the state’s case that on December 12, the complainant arrived at Fourth Street bus terminus in Harare, intending to board a commuter omnibus to Ruwa.

While at the terminus, the court heard that the duo and other accomplices still at large allegedly started whistling at her, accusing the complainant of being a prostitute.

Sensing danger, Tendai Zimbachi who was at the scene told the woman that the touts were up to no good and subsequently shielded her from the marauding group.

In the ensuing commotion, the pair and their accomplices allegedly pulled the complainant’s dress, exposing her underwear while hurling insults at her.

Efforts by the woman to cover up her exposed body proved fruitless as the rowdy group allegedly continued with the assault.

In an attempt to flee from the scene, she got into a stationary commuter omnibus, but the two touts and their alleged accomplices followed and pulled her out of the vehicle.

The court heard that the woman later managed to get into a commuter omnibus where she was charged $2 to be driven to safety.

Chinodakufa and Kandemiri vehemently deny the charges.

Source : New Zimbabwe