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Zimbabwe Magistrate Denies Bail Woman-Stripping Tout

Kombi tout Marvellous Kandemiri who is alleged to have attempted to strip a woman in public in Harare was on Monday denied bail by a local magistrate.

Lawyers representing the woman, who still remains unnamed to protect her identity and safety, told VOA Studio 7 that Kandemiri's court hearing was heard in camera unlike previous hearings that are open to the public.

There was fear that gender activists would storm the magistrates' courts as they have been angered by a video showing touts molesting the woman at a public bus terminus in the city earlier this month.

Although the young woman reported the matter to the police last week her identity has been closely guarded as the police are still investigating the case and fear that some suspects may intimidate her.

The state claims that Kandemiiri was part of a group at the Fourth Street Bus Terminus who tried to strip the unidentified woman saying that she was wearing a too-revealing dress.

Kandemiri is facing charges of indecent assault.

His accomplices are still at large following a police appeal for the identification of the assailants, who appeared in a video, which went viral on social media.

A number of gender activists showed up at the hearing Monday in support of the action being taken by police.

One of the gender activists Talent Jumo of Katswe Sisterhood, who staged a mini-skirt march earlier this month in Harare to show their outrage at the treatment of women by touts, said she is pleased with Monday's ruling.

"This ruling is a step in the right direction as the accused has been remanded in custody signaling the seriousness of the issue and this will send a stern message to those that are still at large or those thinking of repeating this act," said Jumo.

Jumo added that she was impressed with the solidarity shown by women rights activists and others who came in large numbers to the magistrates' court.