Australia-based caregiver Susan Mutami has been challenged to produce evidence of her claims of sexual abuse at the hands of President Mnangagwa or risk being hauled before the courts.
The Zimbabwe Young Graduates and Youth Development Forum says Mutami’s allegations are damaging to the person and Office of President Mnangagwa and should not go unchallenged unless she can produce evidence of the abuse.
The forum says its mandate is to bring youths in positions where they can benefit from policies being implemented by the Second Republic, in reference to Mnangagwa’s government.
We produce their statement below in full:
ZIMBABWE YOUNG GRADUATES & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FORUM
A purpose driven agenda towards youth
participation, inclusion & engagement. Sexual offences are very easy to allege but leave a massive task for the alleged perpetrator to disprove the allegation.
Many times, the audience is quick to sympathize with the alleged victim and summarily cast blame on the alleged perpetrator. The Criminal Codification and Reform Act [Chapter 9:23] criminalizes a vast number of sexual assaults.
Sexual offences have been codified as crimes due to the emotional, physiological and physical effects it lays on the victims. The crime of rape is one of the most serious crimes in our jurisdiction attracting one of the longest jail sentences.
An actual perpetrator for such offences must be visited with the consequences of heinous act. Allegations of sexual assault must however be met with caution. Any person with evidence of sexual assault must report the crime to the police and have such crime investigated and the perpetrator prosecuted for the crime.
On the 22nd day of July 2022, a broadcast was made on Twitter by Susan Mutami, a Zimbabwean adult female based in Australia to the effect that she was sexually assaulted by the President Emmerson D Mnangagwa. The audio emanating from this broadcast has been widely posted on various social media platforms.
The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe is face of our nation. The Zimbabwe Young Graduates and Youth Development Forum is a
Forum that is made of progressive graduates who have committed themselves to be patriotic and protect the face and integrity of their country.
As Zimbabwean people, we have a sovereign duty to love and protect our country. This obligation cascades to respect our President.
As citizens that love our country, we should have an instinctive duty to defend the integrity of our nation and our leaders. We can’t celebrate unsubstantiated bad news about our country and leadership.
When a crime has been committed, the protocol is to report such crime to the police. It is alleged that the crime was committed when Susan Mutami was 15 years old. As at 22 July 2022 Susan Mutami is 34 years old. Almost two decades have passed since the alleged assault.
It is not clear why she chose to do the broadcast now. It is not clear why she chose to report the alleged assault on social media and not through the proper channels. Allegations of political intimidation can-not hold water as the President has more power now than two decades ago.
As the Zimbabwe Young Graduates and Youth Development Forum, we believe and trust in our President. We bank on his integrity and
the love for his nation. As a political figure, our President has been subjected to cyber bullying by a number of people.
A number of people develop negative and unsubstantiated stories about our President for different reasons, chief of which is financial gain and for political mileage.
Surely if a crime, especially a sexual crime has been committed, the perpetrator must be brought to justice. We believe that the possibility of the contents of the broadcast being malicious is extremely high.
Sexual offences are easy to allege. We call upon Susan Mutami, to produce actual evidence of these sexual assaults. She must produce this evidence in any manner she wants including social media.
An allegation has been made. We call her to prove the allegations that she has made. In her broadcast, she claims that the evidence is
readily available. We call her to produce such evidence.
The absence of evidence regarding these sexual assaults means that Susan
Mutami would have peddled falsehoods against the President and thus committing defamation against His Excellency.
Failure to produce the evidence she claims to have is an assault on the integrity, public image and good name of the President, the government and our Country Zimbabwe.
We hope for justice to be done for any sexually assaulted victim. However, in the absence of evidence, we are of the view that Susan Mutami and whoever broadcast such degrading information regarding our President be equally subjected to the defamation and cyber bullying laws.
In the absence of concrete evidence, we demand that justice be done for the President as his name would have been maliciously damaged by such social media broadcast.
WE NEED PROOF.
Mutami said she was partly raised in the President’s home in Kwekwe in the mid-2000s when he was a Government Minister.
In a highly watched Twitter Space chat, the 32-year-old said she was 15 when Mnangagwa and his brother as well as aides took turns to sexually abuse her after her father died.
Zanu PF supporters and other observers have dismissed her claims, while others say she deserves to be heard and her claims tested in a court of law.
Mutami yesterday added that she was not letting the case die and would Institute legal action, without shedding further details.