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Monitor Issue 107
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
August 22, 2011
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trouble for girl child
girl who claims a policeman touched her breasts and physically assaulted
her is in court charged with assault. The teenager, who is from
Harare's Hatcliff suburb, was jointly charged with Hazvinei
Ncube (28) and Evelyn Matava (18). The State accuses the teenage
girl of assaulting 21 year-old policeman, Danmore Chitsanga, in
January last year over a borehole water queue row. Lawyers for the
girl, however, say she was acting in self-defence after the youthful
cop assaulted her for resisting his attempts to jump the water queue.
"The State failed to establish a case against these two (Ncube
and Matava). But on the minor we will proceed to the defence since
she admits having acted in self- defence," said David Hofisi
of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights who is representing the three.
Chitsanga was off duty when he was allegedly assaulted, according
to the State outline.
(Chitsanga) went to fetch water from a nearby borehole. A misunderstanding
arose and the first accused (the teenage girl) argued that the complainant
was not going to fetch water," the State outline reads.
distanced himself from the accused and later returned when the second
accused arrived and had removed the complainant's bucket and
a scuffle ensued resulting in the complainant being struck on the
head and sustained head injuries from the bicycle frame used,"
reads the State outline.
The three were
charged with contravening Section 89 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9: 23, although the
State outline does not show how Ncube and Matava committed an offence.
According to the defence outline, Ncube and Matava have no case
to answer. Hofisi applied for discharge for the duo at the close
of the State case earlier this month. Magistrate Magistrate Shelly
Zvenyika is expected to rule on the application tomorrow.
persons (Ncube and Matava) deny ever having assaulted anybody, were
not in common purpose with the first accused," reads the defence
examination, Hofisi asked if Chitsanga was seriously suggesting
that "a male constable of three years had been beaten by a
minor girl child".
the policeman said the 17-year-old was not a minor as she was over
the age of 12.
the Legal Age of Majority is 18.
off-duty officer obtained water from the borehole ahead of everyone
in the queue at the borehole and when he sought to avail the same
privilege again, accused person protested," reads the defence
"When she protested, accused was assaulted with open hands
on the face and arm twisted in a brutal assault that provoked feelings
of a real threat. When the accused tried to flee, complainant hurled
her against a wall with his hands on her breasts. He then picked
up a bicycle beam and threatened her with it.
disarmed the complainant. Owing to the clear and present danger
of further assault from complainant, and in light of the fact that
accused is a minor female child who faced an imminent attack from
a stronger, older masculine officer of the Zimbabwe Republic Police,
she struck the complainant in order to ward off the unlawful attack,"
reads the defence outline.
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