A Harare doctor, Tinovimba Mhlanga, has been acquitted of aggravated indecent assault charges following allegations that he fondled a female client during a medical examination at Invitro Fertilisation Zimbabwe fertility clinic.
Harare regional magistrate Gloria Takundwa yesterday found Mhlanga not guilty of sexually abusing Tinotenda Zowa who had visited his clinic to donate a fertilisation egg in March this year.
Through his lawyer Oliver Marwa, Mhlanga denied the charges, saying Zowa had concocted the accusations to soil his image.
In acquitting Mhlanga, Takundwa said the State had failed to establish evidence pointing out that Zowa was sexually abused during the time she intended to donate the egg.
The magistrate also noted inconsistencies in testimonies regarding how the alleged offence was committed.
Prosecuting, Cecilia Mashingaidze had alleged that Zowa went to Mhlanga’s surgery on 14 March at around 1 pm for a medical examination.
Mhlanga allegedly first conducted HIV tests first and instructed her to go to the examination room.
While in the examination room, Zowa removed her clothes and wore a hospital gown and then went to lie on the bed awaiting the examination.
Mhlanga allegedly instructed Zowa to open her legs in a butterfly position for him to conduct the examination before he inserted his fingers into her privates several times before fondling her breasts.
The following day (15 March), Zowa reportedly went to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital where she was examined and received counselling after narrating her ordeal to the counsellors.
Through lawyer Marwa, Mhlanga refuted the allegations asserting he professionally conducted his duties as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist. He said:
The procedure for human egg donation is a delicate one which under normal circumstances, can only be properly performed by a specialist doctor in a clinical setup.
The procedure naturally involves digital penetrative contact with the patient’s genitalia.
The complainant consented in writing to the procedure after it was meticulously explained to her in detail such that the allegation in the charge that she had not consented is as malicious as they are unfounded.
The accused acted within the scope of engagement of any professional specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist of his training and experience such that any allegations that he overstepped his boundaries are very unfortunate and unfounded.