Zimbabwe: Anglican Priest Remanded on Charges of Indecent Assault

African News Dimension [Zimbabwe]
February 28, 2006$StorySummary$0.$DirectLink$2&sp=l20911

AN Anglican Church priest facing allegations of indecently assaulting a 14 yearold girl, who is a boarder at a school run by the church, has been granted $3 million bail.

Pearson Chikombe (28), who works and stays at St Gabriel High School in Bulawayo, was ordered to reside at his new address, Number 5 Mupane Lane, Newton West and should not go to his workplace until the matter has been finalised.

He was remanded to his trial date which has been set for 14 March.

He was further ordered not to interfere with State witnesses and to surrender his travel documents if he has any.

When he initially appeared in court before Mr Cephas Masaka Sibanda, he was remanded in custody so that alternative accommodation could be found before the issue of bail could be considered.

The State case against him is that on 29 January, Chikombe called the complainant, who was within the school yard and asked her if she had ever been to a chapel.He allegedly told her to go and wait by the chapel door so that he could show her around.

The State will seek to prove that while they were inside the chapel, he asked her if she had a boyfriend and when she said she did not have one, he asked her if he could be her boyfriend but she refused.

He allegedly asked for a hug but again she refused. After that he allegedly forcibly hugged her, fondled her buttocks and tried to kiss her. The State is further alleging that he warned her against telling anyone about what had happened. He only released her after she told him that she wanted to use the toilet.

However, the girl went out and informed her friends and a report was made to the matron, leading to Chikombe's arrest. Mr Andrew Marimo, is appearing for the State while Mr Godfrey Nyoni, of Majoko and Majoko, represented Chikombe.


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