GWERU — The trial of a 24-year-old Gweru man who allegedly drugged a first-year student at the Midlands State University (MSU)before raping her several times failed to kick off on Wednesday under unclear circumstances.
Information indicates he has mysteriously been given bail without the knowledge of the investigating officer.
It emerged yesterday the parents of the victim are furious over what they believed is a travesty of justice after the perpetrator was seen roaming the streets of Gweru scot-free.
The alleged rapist, Ashley Matemera, and the complainant are said to have gone to a night spot in the city where the former allegedly bought her alcohol, drugged her before taking her to a place where he raped her. She claims to have woken up the following morning naked sharing the same bed with Matemera.
“We are not happy and have lost confidence in the justice system of the country.
“How was this young man released when we know and were told that the trial will be on the December 5 and he was remanded in custody?” the father of the victim, who requested not to be named to protect the identity of his daughter, said.
“What is shocking me is that I phoned the investigating officer who was also in the dark that the perpetrator had been released without his knowledge and when I phoned the officer-in-charge, he knew that the perpetrator had been released,” the victim’s disgruntled father added.
The incident was reported under case number CR65112013 at Senga Police Station with Matemera appearing before Gweru magistrate Sithembiso Ncube for initial remand.
He was remanded in custody to December 5, but the parents of the victim told Southern Eye yesterday they were shocked to hear the alleged rapist had been released.
There are suspicions of money having exchanged hands.
Prosecutors interviewed said the matter only appeared in court last Thursday for initial remand and never kicked off.
Sources said yesterday while the alleged rapist was walking the streets, “further investigations” have been recommended before a trial set to commence on the December 5. Close sources confirmed Matemera has since been released out of custody.
Matemera is believed to be part of a gang of men who pick MSU female students from campus before going with them on drinking sprees and sleeping with them (students) while in their drunken stupor.