Chebundo denies the charge and has told his defence team he’s prepared to undertake a DNA test to prove his innocence. But family and party colleagues are worried at the influence Mnangawa is having on court officials in the town.
Mnangagwa, who lost twice to Chebundo in the KweKwe parliamentary elections in 2000 and 2005, is now said to be virtually based in the town, directing operations with CIO officers in a bid to ensure Chebundo is found guilty.
‘The first day Chebundo appeared in court, Mnangagwa was seated in his car outside the court room. The girl’s family are now virtually living under siege from state security agents who have barred anyone from visitng or making contact with them,’ an MDC MP in the Midlands told us on Thursday.
The MP told us Chebundo has known the alleged rape victim from the age of eight and has been helping the family with school fees since 2004.
‘Chebundo denies ever raping the girl. He admits knowing the girl since she was eight years old. The state are saying the pregnancy is as a result of Chebundo raping the girl. But the MP is saying lets have a DNA test when the child is born. So what happens if the DNA tests proves the child is not Chebundo when the state case is based on the pregnancy? Asked the MDC MP.
‘This was suppossed to have been a straightforward case but political meddling has made it impossible for the MP to get a fair trial. Mnangagwa and his cronies are adamant to see Chebundo go down,’ the MP said.
Chebundo, a founding legislator with the MDC, is alleged to have committed the rape after he offered a lift in his vehicle to the girl who is now his accuser.
Initial police reports said the legislator, who was driving to his Kwekwe base on January 5th, had pulled off the road along the way and committed the alleged offence, which reportedly came to light when the sister of the girl advised her to report the matter to the police.
According to police, a medical examination had revealed the minor was now 5 months pregnant.
SW Radio Africa