BREAKING NEWS: #Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama advocates successfully submit papers with the Zimbabwean High Court


Stewart Musarapasi

HARARE – Advocates of the #Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama initiative successfully submitted papers with the Zimbabwean High Court Tuesday, as they take the fight for retrial of the rape cases involving septuagenarian Freddie Chawatama.

ALSO READ: #Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama bears fruit, septuagenarian’s rape case to be appealed next week

“I am very excited today. The papers have been filed at the High Court of Zimbabwe for Sekuru to be out,” said one of the organisers.

“The next stage will be for a bail hearing for Sekuru to possibly get bail, after which we will argue the merits of how the whole issue happened.”

Chawatama, born in Wedza district, Mashonaland East, was arrested in his native village in January 2018 and convicted of raping five children the following month, after his case was tried – allegedly without legal representation, at the Marondera Magistrates’ Court, where he was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.

Organizers of the #Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama initiative, launched a few weeks ago to fundraise towards legal representation for the 76-year-old man last week managed to raise the $1,000 required to appeal his conviction and try and get a retrial.

ALSO READ: #Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama bears fruit, septuagenarian’s rape case to be appealed next week

The septuagenarian was featured on the now famous “Behind Bars With Tilda Live” – a Facebook show being run on the social media platform by veteran Zimbabwean broadcaster Tilda Moyo. Several people who followed the interview sympathized with Chawatama, with many expressing belief that the ailing old man was unfairly tried, as he did not have legal representation during his court appearance.

Some of the viewers were touched by Chawatama’s health condition, after it was revealed his private parts were connected to a catheter and, according to his confession, only medical personnel could remove the piece of equipment from his body.

There were others who thought the case should be revisited following interview revelations that the rape allegations could have arisen from a land dispute between Chawatama and some members of his family. The sympathizers thought the old man could be a victim of either family issues or a shoddy investigation process.

ALSO READ: #Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama: Zimbabweans unite for justice for ailing septuagenarian convicted of rape

Proponents of the initiative opened a Go Fund account to raise money for the septuagenarian’s legal aid so that the case could be reopened and re-tried on a fairer platform. A group of well-wishers also opened a WhatsApp group named FREE UP SEKURU FREDDIE, where they made contributions from various parts of the world to afford the ailing old man legal counsel.

This week, AfricanVoice Global reported that the initiative had managed to raise the required money towards Chawatama’s legal representation, with the money having already been deposited with his legal counsel and proceedings were being made to revisit the case.

More coming…

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