A student at the Zimbabwe School of Mines in Bulawayo who was accused of kidnapping one of his female classmates was acquitted of the charges.
Tinashe Khalisa was found not guilty after a full trial before Bulawayo magistrate Amanda Nkosinathi Ndlovu who ruled that the State allegations were unsubstantiated and lacked corroboration.
Khalisa through his lawyer had applied for discharge at the close of the State case arguing that its evidence was unreliable as the witness who testified had many versions of what transpired.
In her ruling Ndlovu said the application for discharge at the close of the State’s case had merit and Khalisa was acquitted.
“Onus was on the State to establish a prima facie case against the accused, as it stands the State did not adduce evidence on which a reasonable court could convict the accused.
“The accused has no case to answer as the witness was found not to be credible in the preliminary stage of the case and the evidence adduced cannot be relied upon and the court cannot safely act on it.
“The accused cannot be expected to bolster the State’s case. The application is granted, the accused is found not guilty and acquitted of kidnapping,” reads part of Ndlovu’s ruling.
The magistrate argued that the State’s case was unreliable as it turned solely on the single witness testimony.
“The State neglected to call the taxi driver an independent spectator whose evidence was crucial in this matter. The witness’s testimony was riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions and the court cannot safely act on it. The witness denied parts of her statement she made to the police. The State did not address the inconsistencies in the witness testimony,” the magistrate further argued.
It was the State’s case that Khalisa hired a taxi and went to one of his female classmates’ house where upon arrival he allegedly bundled her inside before he took her to his place.
It was alleged that on 26 September 2021 and at around 5am Khalisa phoned the victim asking her to come out of the house claiming he wanted to see her since he had a problem.
The court failed to prove that when the victim went outside the gate, she found Khalisa sitting in the taxi before she asked him to come out so that he could tell her his problem.
It was further alleged that Khalisa immediately came out of the taxi and forcibly held the victim by her hand and dragged her towards the taxi and she was resisting.
The victim was reportedly overpowered and Khalisa was alleged to have forcibly bundled her inside the taxi which already had its doors open.
The driver was also alleged to have quickly locked all the doors the moment the victim got in and drove along Cecil Avenue heading to New Parklands suburb.
It was alleged that when the victim asked Khalisa why he forced her into the taxi and where he was taking her to, he kept quiet.
The court further failed to prove that when they arrived at Khalisa’s place, they both disembarked and the driver drove away.
Khalisa was alleged to have passionately begged the victim to accompany him inside his house to no avail. The victim was also alleged to have gone back to her place leaving Khalisa alone.
She was alleged to have phoned her father narrating the ordeal and the father advised her to report the matter to the police leading to Khalisa’s arrest.
Khalisa was denying the allegations arguing that the victim fabricated them in order to “fix” him because he had disappointed her the previous night by not taking her out as she was eagerly ready to go out as they usually did.
He argued that the victim wanted to make the court believe that she had no other relationship with the accused save for the fact that they were both third year students at the Zimbabwe School of Mines.