Friday, 18 April 2014

Rape accused MDC-T MP granted $400 bail

MDC-T MP Prince Madubeko Sibanda who is accused of drugging and raping a 17-year-old schoolgirl, was yesterday granted $400 bail with stringent conditions.

Victoria Falls magistrate Sharon Rosemani ordered Sibanda not to communicate with the complainant or any member of her family.

He was also ordered to report twice a week either at Victoria Falls police Station or Bulawayo Central Police Station on Mondays and Fridays.

Prince Madubeko Sibanda
Sibanda is to reside at his given address, surrender his passport and title deeds for a house or registration book for his car to the Clerk of Court.

Rosemani said despite the seriousness of the crime, the court was compelled by provisions of the new Constitution to grant bail. Under the new Constitution bail is an entitlement unless there are compelling reasons to deny one bail.

"I considered that the accused is a family man who desires to clear his name and that the complainant was his girlfriend. The two consented to have sex," said the magistrate.

She also said the crime was committed months ago and there was no concrete evidence that Sibanda was a flight risk. Sibanda, 40, of Mkhosana Township in Victoria Falls, is a close friend of the girl's father — a prominent MDC-T activist.

It has emerged Sibanda offered the teenager's father $4,000 to cover up the crime.

The Investigating officer, Elizabeth Zhou, of the police Victim Friendly Unit had told the court that there was a likelihood that the lawmaker might attempt to dangle more money to entice the family to withdraw charges.

The MDC-T legislator presented himself to the police on Monday.

Sibanda's relatives that included his wife, mother, friends and MDC-T supporters hugged and shook hands outside the courtroom after he was granted bail.

Neither the alleged victim nor her father were in court.

It is alleged that on November 12 last year, Sibanda gave a lift to the girl who was doing Form Four at a private college, in his Mac 2 car. They drove along Kazungula Road and he allegedly offered her a drink which she consumed but immediately became weak and dizzy.

He is alleged to have raped her once in the vehicle without a condom and later begged her not to report him.

The girl made a report to the police on Sunday. Sibanda returns to court on May 16.

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