HARARE – Zimbabweans have launched a call for the state to revisit a case in which 76-year-old Fredie Chawatama is saving time for multiple rape.
Chawatama, born in Wedza district, Mashonaland East, was arrested in his native village in January 2018 for raping five children, who he admitted to living with during the interview.
His case was tried at the Marondera Magistrates’ Court, where he was convicted and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment in February last year.
The outpouring of sympathy however, came after 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.
Many of those who commented on the show, whose url channel is https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=305202363718724 (Tilda Live Zim) interview, were touched by Chawatama’s health condition, after it was revealed his private parts are connected to a catcher and, according to his confession, only medical personnel could remove the piece of equipment from his body.
Others thought the case should be revisited following interview revelations that the rape allegations could have arisen from a land dispute between Chawatam and some members of his family. They thought the old man could be a victim of either family issues or a shoddy investigation process.
It is legally allowed for a convicted person to appeal their ruling at a higher court, should they feel hard-done by a lower court.
Apparently, Chawatama had no legal representation during both his trial and sentencing and it is against that background that the “Free Sekuru Freddie Chawatama” social media petition got its foundation.
Proponents believe the first move should be getting the septuagenarian needs a Go Fund account to raise money for his legal aid so that the case can be reopened and re-tried on a fairer platform.
A group of well-wishers has also been opened on WhatsApp and named FREE UP SEKURU FREDDIE, where they are making contributions from various parts of the world to afford the ailing old man legal counsel.
Some well-wishers have pledged winter clothes for Chawatama, who is also in dire need of toiletries.
At the time of going to print, it was confirmed that Zimbabwean lawyer, Advocate Zvidzai Kajokoto, would be the leading counsel for Chawatama once the case is reopened.
Below is the Facebook link for the go fund Free sekuru Freddie Chawatama Facebook Page
ORGANISERS OF THE FREE SEKURU FREDDIE CHAWATAMA:
Those in South Africa
Mr. Moreboys Munetsi on +27 62 052 5889
Mr. Sam Gumbojena +27 73 847 0380
Mr. Tineyi Deya +27 78 656 6095
Those in Zimbabwe
Dr. Tafadzwa Tazvivinga +263 77 192 1282
Eco cash number +263 787211019 Tafadzwa Tazvivinga or
Mmunetsi Nedbank Savings Account 1188104470
Ewallet 0620525889 .