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Word of Life International Ministries Deacon fined US$400 for sexually abusing juveniles’

MARTIN MAWAYA

GWERU-Word of life International Ministries Church Deacon, Edson Ushe (43) has been fined US$400 for fondling and caressing juveniles’ private parts.

Ushe was found guilty for two counts of indecent assault of two 14 years female church congregants doing form 2, after a full trial.

Delivering the judgment, Provincial Magistrate Beaulity Dube said the state has proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt that Ushe committed the offence.

It was the state case that on the 24th of December 2023, Ushe unlawfully and with indecent intent touched the private parts, kissed and fondled buttocks of the two juveniles (names withheld), without their consent.

The incident took place during the absence of the two minors’ parents who had travelled to Bulawayo.

The court heard that on the fateful day, Ushe visited the girls’ place of residence at 7pm.

He then stayed for about 30 minutes, before requesting the girls to escort him to his vehicle as he was about to leave.

When he was about to leave the house, the court heard that the accused asked for a drink, of which one of the brothers to the minors (name withheld) went back into the house to collect the drink.

Whilst the brother was fetching the drink from the house, Ushe allegedly “dragged the complainant by her waist, touched her private parts and fondled her buttocks” while the second complainant was sitting in the car.

He only stopped the act after noticing that the brother to the complainants also a minor was returning from the house.

However, as if it was not enough, Ushe continued to quench his romantic appetite on another juvenile whom he asked to accompany him to his vehicle so that she can open the gate.

Upon reaching the gate, the court heard that the church Deacon stopped the car, went to the second complainant and allegedly “kissed her once on the forehead and fondled her buttocks”.

This did not go down well with the girl who then pushed him away and ran back to the house and narrated the ordeal to the brother who was courageous enough to inform the guardian.

The guardian (name withheld) in turn reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the accused.

Monica Mungwena prosecuted.

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