Home » Judicial » Mini-Skirt Touts’ Trial – Pair Denies Charges

The trial of two touts accused of stripping a woman at Fourth Street (now Simon Vengai Muzenda Street) bus terminus in Harare commenced yesterday with the pair denying the charges.

Blessing Chinodakufa (31) and Marvellous Kandemiri (32) are facing charges of indecent assault.

After two outlined their defence, the State, led by Mrs Kudzai Chigwedere, applied to have the matter held in camera, saying they needed to protect the victim.

Mrs Chigwedere argued that due to circumstances surrounding the case and the nature of the evidence, the victim’s identity needed to be protected from the public.

But Kandemiri’s lawyer Mr Nathaniel Chigoro opposed the application saying the complainant was not a minor, hence there was no need to have the matter held in camera.

“This case has been highly publicised and my client has suffered a lot,” he said. “I do not see the reason why it should be heard in camera now. The publicity that the case has enjoyed demands that the public be part of the proceedings.

“The public should hear the side of my client’s story. If she was below 18, then I would not have opposed the application.

“The State cannot talk of protecting the identity of the complainant when the video they are relying on has been circulating on social media and almost everyone has seen her face.”

After hearing submissions from both counsels, magistrate Ms Rekina Dzikiti ruled in favour of the State and the gallery was cleared for the case to proceed with the woman testifying in camera.

In his defence, tendered before the court through his lawyer, Kandemiri said he did not participate in harassing the woman though he was present at the rank when she was stripped by his colleagues.

“I even aised the people who were stripping her to stop what they were doing since I knew it was illegal,” he said.

“They did not take heed of my aice and I moved away as they continued to harass her. The video clip that the State is relying on will confirm that I was not part of the rowdy crowd.”

Chinodakufa, who is not being represented, also denied the charges.

He told the court that he was about 80 metres away from the scene where the woman was harassed.

Chinodakufa said he provided the police with names of people who appeared on the video harassing the girl.

The State alleges that Kandemiri and Chinodakufa committed the offence on December 12 last year at Simon Vengai Muzenda Street bus terminus, when they allegedly stripped the woman for wearing what was described as a mini-skirt.

Source : The Herald