Pan African Parliament chair in sex scandal over niece

Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs president and Pan African Parliament chair, Chief Fortune Charumbira put his hands on private parts of his niece. Picture: Supplied.

Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs president and Pan African Parliament chair, Chief Fortune Charumbira put his hands on private parts of his niece. Picture: Supplied.

Published Apr 19, 2023


Johannesburg - The Pan African Parliament’s (PAP) president, Chief Fortune Charumbira, is at the centre of a sex scandal involving his 27-year-old niece.

Charumbira, the president of the parliament, which is based in Midrand, South Africa, is facing arrest, according to Masvingo Central Police in Zimbabwe, who confirmed that they are investigating a matter of indecent assault.

The victim, who is a teacher and a married woman, secretly recorded Charumbira on two occasions wanting a kiss amid him allegedly assaulting her by putting his hands between her thighs and touching her private parts.

According to the memo from the police, the victim is a high school teacher, and they confirmed that a case was registered against Charumbira.

"The complainant is a teacher, and the accused is Charumbira; he is also the president of the Chief’s Council of Zimbabwe and the president of PAP. The complainant is the niece of the accused person," said the memo.

It further said that on March 31, 2023, at around 1pm, the complainant arrived in Harare from Mutare.

She was on her way to a school for a secondary school debate competition. Just before her arrival in Harare town, the complainant was called by the accused person, who indicated that he wanted to meet her.

"When the complainant arrived in Harare town, the accused person picked her up, and they drove to the Rainbow Tours Hotel. They had a meeting and lunch in the dining hall. When they were about to leave, the accused person started caressing the complainant on her breasts. He also put his hand in her dress and kissed her without her consent," said the memo.

Police said on April 2, 2023, at around 1pm, while at another school in Mazowe, the complainant received a call from the accused person, who said he wanted to meet her at the NSSA Building in Harare.

"The complainant went to Harare to meet the accused person, using public transport on the same day. She arrived at around 2pm, she met the accused at the NSSA Building.

"The accused took the complainant to the Munomutapa Hotel in Harare in his vehicle. Upon arrival at the hotel, the accused took the complainant's cellphone and gave her his car keys. Accused ordered the complainant to follow him into the hotel. Accused went to a lounge on the 18th floor together with the complainant. They had talks over what the accused did when they were at the Rainbow Tours Hotel. They spent about an hour in the lounge.

"The complainant stood up intending to leave. When she was at the door leaving, the accused dragged her by her hand back into the lounge. Accused caressed the complainant’s breasts and kissed her without her consent. After that, they then left the hotel. They went into the accused's vehicle, which was parked outside the hotel. While in the vehicle, the accused returned the complainant her cell phone, and she began recording their conversation secretly," said the police in the memo.

In a recorded conversation, Charumbira could be heard soliciting sexual favours from the victim.

"I see more value and benefit in you and I being linked somehow, being friends, being very close friends, private, very close friends," the voice, believed to be Charumbira, is heard saying.

"When the need arises, we just get that close, that even intimacy, when there is a need and it is convenient for both of us. I see more benefits in that than anything that is not beneficial.

"I am saying, kiss me. I am not letting the world collapse. I am not letting the world collapse. I am saying that kiss is not a good thing,“ he says.

PAP media personnel furnished The Star with Charumbira’s spokesperson, Marimo Ndam, for a comment. A media query was sent out around 10am, and by the time of print, a comment had not been received from the official.

Pan-Africanist feminist and independent anti-GBV activist Rosie Motene said abuse is about power.

"The same as other powerful people, politicians have access to finance to silence victims and survivors, intimidate them, and go as far as making dockets disappear or murder. They have secure access to implement fear and control over those who dare to speak out. They do this freely and proudly, as for centuries they have been told they are allowed to," Motene said.

A PAP official based in South Africa said he did not have details but said a number of people at the parliament were aware of the allegations against Charumbira.

"This issue has spread everywhere; I really don't know ... Hey, funny people," said the official. | Additional information: Prince Machaya -