Shadreck Mlauzi, coach of the Zimbabwean women’s national football team, the Mighty Warriors, has been acquitted of sexual assault charges brought against him by a female colleague.
The woman accused Mlauzi of inappropriate touching during a team camp last year.
Following a months-long trial, Harare magistrate Esther Chichera ruled in Mlauzi’s favor, citing inconsistencies and lack of corroborating evidence in the complainant’s statements.
“The inconsistencies in her accounts significantly weaken her case,” Chichera declared.
“The state failed to establish a credible case against the accused.”
Chichera emphasized the need for caution in such cases, where accounts often rely solely on the words of the accuser and accused.
She highlighted discrepancies in the complainant’s descriptions of the alleged incidents, noting contradictory details about the precise nature of the assault.
Mlauzi vehemently denied the accusations, emphasizing his long standing in women’s football and commitment to ethical conduct.
He stated, “I could never confess to something I didn’t do, not to my faith nor to my conscience. In 23 years, I’ve never violated anyone’s rights.”
He further revealed a prior online relationship with the complainant, characterized by friendly chats and video calls, expressing disappointment at the charges leveled against him.
The court’s decision clears Mlauzi’s name while leaving lingering questions about the complainant’s motives.