Zimbabwe-A Rusape woman is finally free after she was found not guilty of trumped-up charges filed against her by a spiteful police officer whose sexual advances she had turned down.

27-year-old Nomatter Chikunguru was arrested on 9 April by some ZRP officers who include Constable Brian Kasu.

She was arrested at around 11 PM as she was heading home from work. Chikunguru works at Rusape General Hospital, where she is employed as a mortician by Heritage Funeral Parlour.

The police officers charged her with assaulting or resisting a peace officer as defined in section 176 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

She was accused of refusing to be apprehended by shouting and throwing stones at Constable Brian Kasu and assaulting him. Kasu was part of the unit which was enforcing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Other members of the unit included Assistant Inspector Chisenye, Assistant Inspector Dhambu, Constable Muza, Constable Makwarimba and Constable Masuka among others.

During her trial before Rusape Magistrate Rufaro Mangwiro, prosecutors alleged that Chikunguru acted unlawfully by refusing to be arrested. The prosecutors further alleged that she shouted and threw stones at Constable Kasu and assaulted him when police officers who were on night patrol raided a bottle store at Mabvazuva Shopping Centre.

Chikunguru, prosecutors said, was caught by a police dog as ZRP officers were reportedly trying to disperse a riotous “mob”.

The 27-year-old woman denied the charges. She alleged that she was the victim in this case and that she was ill-treated by Kasu after she spurned his s3xual advances. She further alleged that some police officers had refused to assist her to report a case against Constable Kasu.

After the police allegedly refused to assist her, Chikunguru was forced to engage the services of a lawyer. She was represented by Peggy Tavagadza of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Tavagadza argued that the charges levelled against her client were a fabrication to cover up for the abuse of power and brutality by the police officer.

Following a full trial, the magistrate acquitted Chikunguru and dismissed all the charges against her.

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