By Staff Reporter
MIGHTY Warriors coach, Shadreck Mlauzi, has been found not guilty and acquitted in a case he was accused of assault and indecent assault.
He was on trial before Harare magistrate Ethel Chichera who ruled that the evidence by prosecution was too weak.
Mlauzi was accused of trying to kiss the team’s fitness trainer, Brenda Chaora, while they were at a training camp for the Cosafa Women’s Soccer Tournament in September last year.
It was also alleged that he indecently assaulted Chaora by grabbing her buttocks and saying “chimbondipawo zvinhu izvi ndimbozvinzwa” (let me have a taste of those things.)
The magistrate said the State failed to prove the essential elements of the alleged offence.
“The first time she reported this, the complainant said the accused had tried to force a kiss. The complainant then introduced the issue of being raped at the police station.
“She also made another statement when she appeared in court. Why would she have such inconsistent statements,” said the magistrate.
“The only conclusion is that there is either no incident or that she wanted to exaggerate the matter. The court did not believe that the complainant was assaulted in any way.
“The WhatsApp messages show that the night after the alleged assault, the complainant and accused had a cordial conversation. She was even sending pictures to the accused updating him on what she was doing,” Chichera further noted.
The magistrate also said the second charge of indecent assault was reported a day after and one would assume that events were still fresh.
However, the complainant gave conflicting statements which made the magistrate conclude that she was fabricating the allegations.
“The WhatsApp messages show that they were flirting after the alleged offence. That conduct was inconsistent with someone who was unhappy with how she was treated.
“It is the duty of the state to prove beyond reasonable doubt. In my view, the State failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The complainant’s statement had inconsistencies.
“If the act being alleged is changed, it becomes questionable. The complainant has shown herself not to be a credible witness. Not much time had passed since the incident occurred so one wonders why there are such inconsistencies in the reports,” she said before acquitting Mlauzi.