On Friday, July 15, Desmond Chideme was acquitted / found not guilty of domestic violence and / or assault at the Harare Magistrate’s Court.
The ruling, though a cause for celebration is bittersweet as it ends a regrettable chapter in my life. I would like to make the following known, and for the public record. I am innocent, and it has now been proven.
The allegations against me, as has now been proven in court, were wholly false, completely fabricated, and engineered to tarnish my image, take my voice away, lower my esteem in the eyes of the public, impact my income, and punish me for raising legitimate concerns about my marriage, which has now rightly ceased.
While I was distraught at the beginning, I found comfort in reflection. I realised quite quickly that I was not alone, that many men are subject to malicious persecution by prosecution.
Being arraigned before a criminal court is undesirable for most men, who choose instead to settle or plead guilty and receive a fine.
Several women in this country are weaponizing the judicial system knowing men do not have a voice anymore, and that men, bent on protecting their family, often opt out of the brutal arena that is a criminal trial.
I experienced this first hand as false allegations were plastered all over social media. I was hamstrung – unable to respond as my case was sub judice. I swore that this had to change. That I would not live on my knees.
I made the choice to not fight in the court of public opinion, but to fight in the court of law, where the argument is not emotion but fact, truth, and law.
This fight came at great cost, but I believe in making right by history and vindication. I did not assault the mother of my child, and history and the justice system will have it on record forever – that I am innocent.
I made the choice to prove my innocence, whatever the cost, not for me, but for every male victim of malicious allegations out there.
Lastly, I would like to thank my lawyers, D Mthombeni and partners for their tireless work to clear my name and all those that believe in due process, those that did not rush to wild conclusions, and those that knew in their hearts of hearts, that I am many things but not an abusive man.
My focus going forward is on my career and my business and being a perfect father to my children.