Senior Court Reporter
Fridge repair technician Cephas Moyo of Epworth in Harare, accused of raping a customer’s 10-year-old girl, on Wednesday sprang out of the dock and took to his heels soon after a Harare regional magistrate adjourned proceedings in the on-going rape trial but was caught just a few steps from the court complex entrance.
Magistrate Mrs Sandra Mupindu had ordered that Moyo be remanded in custody to May 27 pending her judgment on whether he did rape the girl after visiting her home to repair her parents’ refrigerator.
Moyo (44), who had been out on bail, had been committed to custodial remand pending the judgment and so decided to flee when he saw the prison officers preparing his warrant of detention at remand prison.
He hopped out of the dock and sped out of the courtroom, stripping off his jersey and face mask, as he was running down the stairs towards the exit of the court building in an attempt to confuse the court officials who were pursuing him.
But a prosecution witness in his trial recognised him and alerted the pursuing prison officers, who apprehended him a few steps from the Harare Magistrates Court’s entrance.
The State led by MS Nancy Chandakaona alleges that on September 11 last year, Moyo was called by the girl’s mother to repair a refrigerator.
Upon his arrival, Moyo found the girl watching a movie on a laptop while her other siblings were playing in the house. It is alleged that Moyo then ordered the siblings to leave the house before he closed the door from inside, went to the girl kissing and caressing her.
The girl brushed off Moyo, the court heard, but he allegedly dragged her into her mother’s bedroom, threatened to kill her if she told anyone, and then raped her, only stopping when he siblings started knocking at the door.
He denied the charges saying it was not possible to rape the girl as there were about eight children who were playing in the house on the day in question.