Andrew Dinhidza, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Lobels Biscuits Company in Bulawayo, has been acquitted of 10 counts of r@pe and aggravated @ssault following a trial.
Several women had accused Dinhidza of s£xual @ssault within the confines of his office, his vehicle, and various lodges across Bulawayo. Some of the women were either current or former employees of Lobels, having either resigned or been terminated from their positions.
However, after careful examination of the evidence, Magistrate Joseph Mabeza delivered a scathing rebuke to the accusers, stating that their charges were steeped in malice and born out of a sinister conspiracy to bring down the accused. The Magistrate said:
The accused pleaded not guilty to all charges, maintaining that the allegations against him were false and concocted out of malice, fuelled by personal vendettas following the complainants’ dismissal from the company.
The court cast doubts on the authenticity of the events at Lobels and declared the accused, Andrew Dinhidza, not guilty of all charges relating to r@pe and aggravated indecent @ssault.
Dinhidza argued that the timing and manner in which the alleged offences were reported suggested a calculated and fabricated conspiracy. The court’s decision highlights the importance of thoroughly examining evidence in criminal cases and the need for fair trials that uphold the principles of justice and the rule of law.
Andrew Dinhidza faced several allegations of s£xual misconduct during his trial. One incident occurred in May 2020 when Dinhidza allegedly called a complainant into his office and promised her a permanent contract in exchange for s£xu@l relations. The accused failed to fulfil his promise and left the complainant with a temporary contract.
Another charge involved Dinhidza’s alleged engagement in s£xu@l activity with a female employee at a local lodge, manipulating her into believing that such an encounter would secure her permanent employment.
In a third case, Dinhidza allegedly demanded s£xu@l intercourse from a complainant whose husband was terminated from Lobels under unclear circumstances. The accused promised to reinstate the husband in exchange for s£xu@l relations, which the complainant reluctantly agreed to.
These allegations were part of the prosecution’s case against Dinhidza, who was ultimately acquitted of all charges.