CHIEFS Council president Fortune Charumbira, who has been reported for allegedly sexually abusing his married niece on two occasions, has threatened to sue the victim for defamation, claiming the charges were baseless.
Charumbira, is who is also president of Pan-African Parliament (PAP), isy accusing the victim of conniving with opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party members to fabricate charges against him after he failed to convince the victim’s family to withdraw the charges, NewsDay has established.
The victim, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, reported the matter at Masvingo Central Police Station under RRB 5457646 on Saturday last week, but Charumbira has not yet been arrested.
In leaked WhatsApp chats seen by NewsDay, Charumbira told the victim’s father that he regretted that the incident occurred and pleaded with him not to share the leaked audio in which he was allegedly soliciting for a kiss from the 27-year-old niece.
“Mangwanani Shumba. Even before I opened the audio, I heard from Nyembesi who had heard from Jonny,” the former deputy minister is heard saying.
“I like your spirit. Let us maintain the constructive approach. Let’s build and not destroy the good spirit.
“You sent me the audio to listen and respond. Nothing is better than that.
“Although I would have suggested not sharing the audio before engaging with me, I will not be diffensive (sic).
“I will be open and seek to mend. Please take your comfort to meet and get the confused circumstances, clear confusion and mixed up identity. Until now.
“Cool down. Ngatisangane tiri two (Let’s meet the two of us).
“You may choose to understand my IGNORANCE at the time (sic). I regret it.”
But Charumbira told NewsDay yesterday that he wanted to file charges against those who were raising the allegations, which he said were false.
“I actually want to sue those who are levelling those false allegations against me,” he said.
“There is no element of truth in those allegations. I never spoke to them after the charges were filed against me.”
He, however, requested further questions in writing, but had not yet responded by last night.
“I want to set the record straight,” he said.
“Send me your question on WhatsApp and I will explain everything to you.”
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police would release a statement on the matter.
“We still stand by what we said earlier that we will release a statement in due course,” Nyathi said.
“On allegations of threatening the victim, I will check with the Officer Commanding Masvingo.”
The victim’s father refused to comment on his conversation with Charumbira.
“The complaint should speak on this matter. Let me see what I can do. I will get back to you,” he told NewsDay.
Repeated efforts to get in touch with him later were in vain as he rejected calls from this publication.
But the leaked chats seen by NewsDay show that Charumbira accused the victim of “maliciously” filing the charges against him, apparently after failing to get the family to withdraw the charges.
“I know you are working on documentation to go to Canada and run away from Zimbabwe after messing up my name with lies,” Charumbira said in the leaked chats.
“Do not run away. Ndakatosviba kare (my name was long soiled), let’s meet in court.
“As a result of this attack on me, there is a lot of information between you, sekuru Foki and Gari which I know.
“Ndavurawa image pasi rose nenhema kuti (My image has been tarnished worldwide through allegations that) I touched (your) private parts etc kidnapped etc. Whoom! Mwari ndewedu tese (God is for us all).
“Vana (The likes of) Takanayi and other CCC members had several meetings with you to push this agenda.
“I did not think you would agree to falsehoods against me to please them.”
In the 16-minute audio recording that has gone viral, Charumbira reportedly solicited for a kiss from the victim, who spurned his advances.
According to a police memo, Charumbira called the complainant on March 31 this year and invited her for lunch at a top hotel in Harare while she was on her way to Mazowe on school business.
At the hotel, Charumbira allegedly fondled the complainant’s breasts.
He also put his hand in her dress and kissed her without her consent, part of the memo reads.
Women’s rights organisations have demanded Charumbira’s arrest to allow justice to take its course.