Chipo Sabeta Senior Reporter
Four youthful artisanal gold miners from Battlefields, who graphically narrated how they sexually assaulted girls believed to be commercial sex workers in a video recently, have appeared at the Kadoma Magistrates’ Court. They were charged with rape and robbery.
Thabani Gazi (20), Prince Chirombo (18), Rombo Chirara (18) and Admire Chirongoma (18) — who shot to infamy after their video went viral on social media while chronicling how they committed the offence, were not asked to plead when they appeared before Kadoma regional magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo on September 29.
They were denied bail and remanded in custody to Thursday. Mr Mbobo could not proceed with the matter in the absence of the complainants. The State, led by Mr Reginald Chaora, indicated that some of the complainants and witnesses were being victimised by sympathisers of the accused. Allegations against the four arose on July 4 this year when they allegedly entered the girls’ room at Mungwanya Compound in Battlefields armed with machetes, knives and empty beer bottles.
The victims were allegedly asleep. It is the State’s case that the accused ordered one of the girls’ clients to hide behind a curtain in the room. The court heard that they subsequently attacked the girls before gang-raping them. It is the State’s case that the four used protection during the sexual encounters. Although the sex workers cried out for help, they were unfortunately subdued by the marauding quartet.
The gang then helped themselves to four Nokia cellphone handsets, before disappearing into the night. News of the assault came to light when the girls, who were not named, made a report to the police the following morning. If found guilty of rape, assault and armed robbery, each of the youthful offenders could spend 20 years in jail.