Zimbabwe News

Family of Chief Charumbira’s alleged s.e.x.ual assault victim speaks out

The father of a 27-year-old Masvingo woman, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the president of the Chiefs Council, Fortune Charumbira, in late March and early April this year, has demanded the traditional leader’s arrest.

The woman filed a case of sexual assault against Charumbira on Saturday last week at Masvingo Central Police Station under RRB 5457646.

In an exclusive interview with NewsDay, the father said her daughter is terrified. He said:

My daughter is terrified. She feels intimidated. This is because of the communication that she has been receiving from the perpetrator.

It is alleged that Charumbira, who is also president of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), tried to influence the woman to drop the case, but did not succeed. Said the woman’s father:

She will not bow to any influence to withdraw the charges. But we want justice to prevail in this case. The law should take its course. We don’t know whether because he is a high-profile person, who holds a top post, including that of PAP, is influencing authorities not to get arrested.

But for the record, we are not engaging Chief Fortune on any platform apart from waiting for justice to take its course.

According to a leaked police memorandum, Charumbira allegedly sexually assaulted the complainant on two separate occasions.

He allegedly fondled the complainant’s breasts, kissed her without her consent, and groped her private parts.

The alleged assault took place at Rainbow Towers Hotel on 31 March this year and on 02 April at Crown Plaza Hotel, respectively.

The father told NewsDay that Charumbira made sexual advances fully aware that she was his niece. He said:

My daughter did not grow up in the Charumbira area. She was raised by her mother elsewhere and would occasionally come to visit. Her first encounter with Charumbira was in January this year. She wanted a piece of land in the Charumbira area for her horticultural projects. She asked me to accompany her to the chief to ask for the land on her behalf.

But I said, “No. I must not influence the chief to give you the land. Go on your own and introduce yourself and if he indeed can offer you the land, he can, even without my influence.”

She went there and introduced herself to Charumbira, who acknowledged her as his daughter (niece).

From what my daughter told me, her encounter with him went well that first time but was not really fruitful, because he asked her to come back another day.

On Thursday, Charumbira told the publication that his enemies were creating stories about him. He said:

It is very clear from your publications that someone is pushing an agenda against me. It’s very clear.

The traditional leader also said he does not handle land issues. He said:

I refer all requests for land to a team, which is assigned for that purpose.

(The victim) never said she wanted to see me for land. Mind you, I never knew her properly.

I have her texts leading to seeing me in Harare on March 31 and April 2. All is clear in the texts. I have been holding on to them for legal reasons now that there are such allegations. I have messages all the way through. You have one side of the narrative.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told NewsDay that they will release a statement on the matter in due course.

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