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Court Acquits 7 Women Arrested For Prostitution, Highlights Absence Of The Sex Workers' Clients

4 days agoWed, 15 May 2024 14:33:35 GMT
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Court Acquits 7 Women Arrested For Prostitution, Highlights Absence Of The Sex Workers' Clients

The Masvingo Magistrates Court has acquitted seven women who were arrested and prosecuted for soliciting for prostitution at Mucheke bus terminus on 17 April 2024.

In its ruling, the court said that prosecutors had failed to bring to court some witnesses, who should have been offering their services to the women allegedly soliciting for sex.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the accused were Tanaka Dzoro (18), Martha Chirume (22), Sharon Mapurisa (21), Fortunate Chauraya (28), Stabile Mpandile (20), Cynthia Chihota (35) and Natasha Siziba (21).

In a statement, the ZLHR said the case exposes the ill-treatment of women as second-class citizens in Zimbabwe.

The 7 women were arrested by the Police who charged them with soliciting for prostitution as defined in section 81 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Said the ZLHR:

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During trial, which commenced on 22 April at Masvingo Magistrates Court, prosecutors alleged that Dzoro, Chirume, Mapurisa, Chauraya, Mpandile, Chihota and Siziba, were arrested by ZRP officers from Chikato Police Station, who included Sergeant Dube and Constable Dzingira when they were indecently dressed while soliciting for sex.

The prosecutors claimed that the 7 women, who were represented by Collen Maboke of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, had no right to act in the manner that they allegedly did.

However, Masvingo Magistrate Mudzingo on 29 April acquitted Dzoro, Chirume, Mapurisa, Chauraya, Mpandile, Chihota & Siziba at the close of the prosecution case after finding them not guilty of committing the alleged offence of soliciting.

Magistrate Mudzingo ruled that there were several inconsistencies in the testimony of ZRP officers, who testified as state witnesses during trial & that prosecutors had failed to bring to court some witnesses, who should have been offering their services to the women allegedly soliciting for sex.

In intervening to assist the 7 women, ZLHR felt that their arrest by ZRP officers, was discriminatory as it only targeted women because of their gender.

More: Pindula News

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