HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 27 June 2011
Mr.A Taruvinga, for the applicant
Mr. Mafuwa, for the respondent.
BHUNU J: The applicant is a young police officer of 37 years of age residing at Chikurubi Support Unit police camp. He is alleged to have sexually abused his elder brother’s ten year old son with whom he resides at the same place. The allegation is that he forcibly sodomised the complainant on three different occasions during the period extending from December 2010 to April 2011.
The complainant took refuge at Highlands Police Station and made a report to a police officer. He was examined at a clinic resulting in the accused’s arrest. The applicant is now applying for bail pending trial.
The test in deciding whether or not the application must succeed was laid down in the case of S v Ndlovu 2001. The factors for consideration include:
- The seriousness of the offence.
- The likely sentence if convicted.
- The incentive to abscond.
Undoubtedly the offence is of a very serious nature. The mere fact that it was perpetrated on three different occasions is a serious aggravating feature. In the event of conviction the applicant can expect a very long period of imprisonment.
The applicant being a police officer imprisonment would tend to weigh more heavily on him than ordinary members of society. The possibility of the state securing a conviction is high because there can be no question of mistaken identity as the applicant was well known to the complainant. The complaint was made within a reasonable time to an independent law enforcement officer. The complaint is backed up by medical evidence compiled within a reasonable time.
Having regard to the severity of sentence upon conviction and the real likelihood of conviction I am of the considered view that the accused is a flight risk. In the circumstances of this case he is unlikely to hang around when the prospect of a lengthy period of imprisonment is staring him in the face.
In the result it would be wholly unsafe to release the applicant on bail. The application for bail pending trial is accordingly dismissed.
Khanda and Company, the Applicant’s Legal Practitioners.
The Attorney General’s office, the Respondent’s Legal Practitioners.