Minister of State Accused of Prolonged Harassment of Student
A National University of Science and Technology (NUST) student has accused the Minister of State responsible for Agricultural Colleges, Water Resources, and Irrigation Development, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Davis Marapira, of making persistent and unwanted advances towards her, leaving her on the brink of a mental breakdown.
The 19-year-old biotechnology student had received support from the minister with her school fees since she was in Form 5 at Zimuto High School in Masvingo. According to the student, Marapira allegedly began pestering and threatening her in 2021 when she was in Form 6, persistently sending her love messages and invitations to meet him at hotels.
The Masvingo Mirror reports that the student claims that Marapira has been using his influence to manipulate and control her, even threatening to stop paying her fees at registration time or just before she sits for exams, which is when she is most vulnerable. The student said, “He gets so angry if I refuse his advances. He makes long calls and persistently sends messages which I politely told him I was uncomfortable with.”
The girl’s mother also confirmed the allegations, saying that she approached a woman from Zanu PF Women’s League to ask the Minister to stop his advances, but her efforts proved futile. The mother further revealed that she later phoned the Minister, but he was allegedly evasive.
The Mirror contacted Marapira for a comment, but he hung up once he got the gist of the issue. He later sent a text message to say that he was in a meeting.
Student Accuses Minister of Sexual Advances
The student confirmed that the messages in the hands of The Mirror were indeed exchanged between her and the Minister. She accused Marapira of sending her an article about a man who sponsored his lover through university education and later killed her for dumping him. She said, “The Minister asks me to see him at night, invites me to his hotel room whenever he is in Bulawayo and the latest being at the 2023 ZITF last week. He threatens to stop paying my fees at registration time or just before I sit for exams and this is the time where he knows I am most vulnerable.”
The girl’s arts mentor who is a teacher said she is shocked by Marapira’s alleged predatory tendencies towards the girl. “The Minister knew the girl as a little primary school girl. I am shocked that this was his intention. I think there is certainly something wrong in Marapira’s head,” said the mentor.
In conclusion, the Minister of State responsible for Agricultural Colleges, Water Resources, and Irrigation Development, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Davis Marapira, has been accused of making persistent and unwanted advances towards a National University of Science and Technology (NUST) student, using his influence to manipulate and control her. The student fears for her life and academic future, and her mother has expressed concern for her daughter’s wellbeing. The Minister has yet to make a public statement about the allegations.