Wednesday, 29 November 2017


A GUIDE employed by a top tour operating company in Victoria Falls has appeared in court for allegedly touching a client’s buttocks while swinging on a wire across the Zambezi River.

The complainant (25), who resides in Gwabalanda suburb in Bulawayo, said the abuse occurred in May this year.

Knowledge Mathe, who works for a local tour operating company, pleaded not guilty to indecent assault through his lawyer Mr Givemore Mviringi of Mviringi and Partners when he appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Ms Rangarirai Gakanje on Monday.

He was remanded out of custody to next week Thursday.In her testimony in court, the woman said Mathe touched her buttocks and laughed about it.

“It was on Saturday 27 May when I and my sister booked for a high wire activity and we were guided by the accused and another one called TK. As he was strapping me I bent over in front of him and he said I was making him uncomfortable. I apologised. I then felt a slap on my bum. I was so shaken knowing I had to cross the gorge with the same person who 
had slapped my back,” she said.

She said she did not tell the other guide as she feared for her life since they “were in the middle of nowhere” and also because she did not want to put a dent on her holiday.

She said she told some people at Lookout Café, a restaurant run by Wild Horizons but did not report to the police because she was not aware that she could file charges.

“Yes I did not see the hand but I felt it and believe he did it intentionally because the slap was deliberate. I didn’t report because I did not know what to do and I was also leaving for Bulawayo hence I didn’t want the hustles of travelling for the case,” said the complainant.

She said she reported the case because she felt the tour operating company had not punished Mathe hence she now wants the court to discipline him.

“I know I was ignorant and wrong by not reporting. When I realised they could not give me the justice I wanted I then made a  police report.”

In defence, Mr Mviringi said the charges filed by the woman were an afterthought after failing to strike a deal with the company considering that the alleged assault took place in May and she reported the matter in September.

The company had offered the complainant a refund with an option to redo the activity.
She allegedly demanded that her siblings, father and sister accompany her and be catered for transport, food and accommodation which would have cost the tour operating company about $5 000.

“The charges are an afterthought after failing to negotiate with the accused’s employer. You say you decided to make a police report because the company had not told you how they disciplined him. This leaves a lot to be desired and you are lying to this court as one wonders why you would not report a case for four months,” said Mr Mviringi.

The prosecutor, Mr Listen Nare, closed State case and Mr Mviringi immediately applied for discharge at the close of the State case saying the case had no merit. He will file written submissions on Friday. chronicle


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