Some members of a certain WhatsApp group have joined hands together to secure the release of an alleged rapist sentenced to 35 years in jail.
Freddie Chawatama, 78, who was convicted and sentenced to 35 years for raping five children, was released on bail on Wednesday at Chikurubi Maximum Prison when his defense counsel Advocate Kajokoto successfully appealed against both his conviction and sentence, HMtro reports.
Two of the ‘Free up sekuru Freddie’ WhatsApp group members Dr Tafadzwa Takazviinga and Lillian Chisunga witnessed the release of sekuru Freddie from prison where they gave him a suit, took him to a food court and bought groceries for him before reuniting him with his brother.
“We learnt of sekuru Freddie on Tilder’s Facebook page where she posts stories of Behind Bars and formed a group composed of people who sympathised with his case,” said Dr Tazviinga.
He stated further:
“The group of 100 members agreed to meet sekuru Freddie’s legal costs and we managed to raise more than US$3000 and I was entrusted to collect it and today we celebrate the second chance granted to sekuru to meet his family after serving nearly two years of the 35 years sentence.
We were only touched by his condition that he had been using a catheter when he committed the alleged rape and to me personally as a medical doctor was surprised.
“We agreed as a group to buy more catheters, other medicines and food for sekuru Freddie.
“Some of the group members agreed to spend the better part of last Friday with sekuru since it was a family week and he didn’t believe that we were working on an appeal for his release.
Sekuru Freddie wept in disbelief when prison officers informed him about his release and thanked the WhatsApp group members along with Tilder Moyo for making it possible to have another chance to revise his life outside the prison.
“I was buried alive but today I feel honoured to see trees, meet people filled with love of a person they have never seen only to be united by a sad story,” said Sekuru Freddie admiring a new suit bought for him.
“My wife is late and had it not been for the catheter I would marry and be glad in this new life. Asi ndikabviswa catheter ndinoroora chete handiregi.
“With this suit villagers will not believe that I was imprisoned but think that I was working somewhere kana kujoza ikoko,” said Sekuru Freddie waving a goodbye and thanked the prison officers with the correctional service rendered to him.