FORMER Zanu-PF Insiza South legislator, Malachi Nkomo, has appeared in court for allegedly fondling a neighbouring farmer’s breasts and stealing her SD memory card.

Nkomo (52) of Plot 2 Atherstone Farm in West Nicholson area yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and theft when he appeared before Gwanda magistrate, Mrs Nomagugu Sibanda.

He was remanded out of custody to February 13 on his own cognisance.

Prosecuting, Mr Takunda Mafudze said Nkomo committed the offence on 2 January 2017 at around 7AM.

“On 2 January 2017 at around 7AM, the complainant found Nkomo removing property from her worker’s room without her consent and she started filming him using a camera.

“This didn’t go down well with Nkomo and he grabbed the complainant by the neck in a bid to snatch the camera from her. During the process he fondled complainant’s breasts.

“Nkomo then surrendered the camera to the police at West Nicholson Police Station.

“The police further handed over the camera to the complainant who realised that her SD card was missing. The value of the SD card is $50,” he said.

In his defence, Nkomo denied fondling the complainant’s breasts or stealing her SD card.

He said he found the woman trespassing on his property and taking pictures.

The former legislator said he was forced to take the camera away from her when she attempted to take a close up picture of him.

Nkomo said when he went to the police station to report the woman for trespassing, he found that she had filed a false report of indecent assault and theft against him.

“I didn’t fondle the complainant’s breasts or steal her SD card as she has alleged. She is the one who came to my place and started taking pictures using a camera and I confronted her over the matter.

“She then drew closer and tried to take a close up shot of me and that’s when I took the camera.

“I took the camera to the police station and surrendered it there. I didn’t remove any SD card as I don’t know how to operate the camera.

“The complainant is fabricating these allegations just to tarnish my image. This is the third or fourth time that her family has fabricated allegations against me just to tarnish my image. They are fighting me over land,” he said.

In her statement in court, the woman said she received a phone call from her brother telling her that Nkomo had broken into their property at Atherstone Farm.

She said she proceeded to check and then took pictures as evidence. The woman said Nkomo then fondled her breasts and took her camera.Chronicle