Photo credit: Zimlive

Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) star anchor Robert Mukondiwa was held without bail on Friday after being charged with aggravated indecent assault.

The 40-year-old, of Mordon Place in central Harare, is accused of raping a 19-year-old Upper Sixth student after plying him with alcohol.

Smartly dressed in a dark suit and wearing a ZTN face mask, the reporter sat quietly as the charges were read. He could be jailed for life if convicted.

Magistrate Babra Mateko said the charge was a Third Schedule offence for which only the High Court can decide on bail. She remanded Mukondiwa, who was not asked to plead, in custody to April 12.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) alleges that Mukondiwa forced himself on the student who had gone to his house needing help to pay his school fees.

The alleged victim, an orphan, had posted on Facebook that he was down and out and needed assistance to pay his school fees.

Malvern Mapako, for the NPA, told the court that a woman in the United Kingdom responded to the student’s plea in February this year. She further advised the student that he had to go to Mukondiwa, who would assess his needs and advise her in return.

On March 2, the alleged victim visited Mukondiwa’s residence at the corner of Selous Avenue and 7th Street and found him in the company of two other men “watching gay movies.”

Mukondiwa allegedly offered the student wine which he took after some persuasion. Mukondiwa and the alleged victim later proceeded to a shebeen where they continued drinking until about 11PM before returning to the journalist’s residence.

Mukondiwa, the court heard, showed his visitor a bed to sleep for the night. Sometime during the night, Mukondiwa allegedly stripped naked and jumped into the same bed.

Mapako said Mukondiwa was not pleased to find the student had slept with his clothes on and demanded that he should take them off. The student removed all his clothes except for a pair of boxer shorts and briefs.

The prosecutor went on: “Mukondiwa touched the complainant’s shoulders, asking about his story, but the complainant refused to be touched. Mukondiwa continued to touch the complainant’s chest going downward and lowered his boxers and briefs before laying him on his back. He then lifted the complainant’s legs up, inserted his erect penis into complainant’s anus and did coital movements.”

Mapako said the alleged victim screamed, forcing Mukondiwa to stop the assault.

Mukondiwa, the court heard, begged his accuser not to tell anyone. He gave the alleged victim US$20 in the morning and he left.

The student, the court heard, told his UK donor about what had happened leading to a police case being filed on March 17.

The prosecution said it would produce a medical affidavit of an examination performed on Mukondiwa’s accuser.

ZTN, which has been broadcasting online, was awarded a free-to-air television licence last November. Mukondiwa, a former deputy editor of the tabloid H-Metro, has emerged as the star of the network.