THE woman, who is accusing Matabeleland South provincial Agritex officer Bernard Sibanda (57) of sexual harassment, broke down in court yesterday while narrating her ordeal, forcing the magistrate to adjourn proceedings just before lunch.
The woman, who is an Agritex officer, told the court she had to tightly hold her skirt in between her legs to prevent Sibanda from raping her.
“I held my skirt tightly, but he kept trying to insert his manhood through my skirt insisting he was only going to insert the tip so he could ejaculate,” she said with tears streaming down her cheeks.
She then broke down and the magistrate adjourned the trial until after lunch.
The woman accused Sibanda of abusing his authority saying she was transferred to a remote area as a way of fixing her for turning down his sexual advances.
“I have now been transferred to Mayezane where I stay in a dilapidated house with no windows and I know my boss is behind the transfer,” the woman said.
“Many female employees in the department have been abused by this man, but they are afraid to come out in the open and I have taken it upon myself to seek justice.”
The woman said it took her four months to report the alleged harassment because she was afraid after Sibanda threatened to block her salary and dismiss her from work, but she finally decided to deal with the issue due to stress.
Sibanda, who has been suspended from work, laughed at the woman’s testimony drawing the ire of the magistrate who gave him a warning.
Sibanda is being represented by Galen Masiye-Moyo and is denying the allegations saying they were fabricated after the complainant became bitter over her transfer.
The court heard that on July 27 last year, Sibanda summoned the woman to his office and locked the door before directing her to sit on a sofa. Sibanda allegedly sat next to her and asked to be intimate with her, but she refused.
The woman tried to get up from the sofa, but Sibanda allegedly grabbed her waist and she fell on his lap.
Sibanda allegedly unzipped his trousers and removed his manhood, but the complainant tightly held her skirt.
He allegedly begged for sex, but the complainant refused until he unlocked the door and she left his office.
She reported the matter to the Gwanda district Agritex officer before making a police report leading to Sibanda’s arrest.
The trial continues today with two state witnesses set to testify.