Socialite in court for rape, fraud

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By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent

PROMINENT Zanu PF activist and Kariba socialite, Samu Mawawo was Tuesday dragged to court facing two counts of rape and one fraud count involving a botched land deal.

He also faces another charge of indecently assaulting the complainant by inserting his hands into her genitals.

Mawawo (54), who is also executive chairman of Kariba Incorporated Area Residents and Ratepayers Association (KIARRA) was remanded in custody to September 26 for rape and indecent assault while he will be back at court on October 4 on the fraud matter.

He appeared before Kariba Magistrate Tapiwa Banda.

On the rape charge, prosecutor Caren Modina Musiiwa told the court that on an unknown date but in June this year around midday complainant was ironing clothes while in the kitchen when Mawawo entered the room asking about her relationship.

On same date around 8pm, the accused person allegedly sneaked into the complainant’s bedroom, forced himself on the victim and raped her once.

It was further heard complainant screamed but Mawawo threatened to shoot her dead using a gun bragging he was an untouchable staunch Zanu PF member.

Following the dastardly act, the accused person stormed out of the room leaving the complainant crying.

Court also heard on September 8, 2023 around 2am Mawawo preyed again on the victim and raped her before issuing further threats of harm claiming he was a Zanu PF activist and could orchestrate her disappearance or alternatively shoot her dead if she dared tarnish his image by disclosing the sexual attacks.

Later that day, the accused person caressed complainant’s private parts after forcibly inserting his fingers into her undergarments.

The court heard the victim gathered courage and reported the cases to police leading to Mawawo’s arrest.

Turning to the fraud matter, the complainant is Lucky Chikuni (40), a kapenta fish dealer.

Prosecutor Jeffries Makoni told the court on June 6, 2017, Municipality of Kariba (MoK) leased Stand 639 Nyamhunga township to KIARRA and the deal was set for expiry May 31, 2019.

Upon expiry, it was heard KIARRA did not renew or extend the lease agreement to the said property.

Sometime in 2021, Mawawo knowing he no longer had control of the property engaged Chikuni and struck a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) lease deal.

Under the contract, the complainant would pay rentals and rates directly to the council in the sum of ZW$1 700 and ZW$12 000, respectively.

Chikuni honoured his side of the bargain by paying rent and rates from July 15, 2021 to June 27 last year totaling ZW$35 875.

Complainant built a temporary structure comprising two shops and an office using precast panels at the stand at a cost of US$8 204 and the accused person was overseeing construction in the absence of the complainant.

The court also heard Mawawo misrepresented to fellow KIARRA committee members that he was developing the stand using donor and personal funds.

There was a turn of fortune when on June 28, 2022 council ordered KIARRA to stop construction as its lease had expired in 2019.

The accused person did not tell the complainant of the new development and proceeded to build on the disputed land until the completion of two rooms and another at roof level.

On September 26 this year, MoK gave a demolition order for the illegal structure, which order Mawawo signed and acknowledged.

The complainant later got information KIARRA were not owners of the stand and realised he had been duped prompting him to make a police report.

The total value prejudiced is US$8 204 and ZW$35 875 and nothing was recovered.