A woman of Lusaka’s New Kasama has dragged Taj Pamodzi Hotel Plc and its employee, seeking compensation for the sexual abuse she suffered during a massage session at its Jiva Spa in 2022.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Mwansa Charity Njelesani sued Kenneth Musonda, an employee of Taj Pamodzi Hotel as a masseuse, accusing him of sexually assaulting her on May 24, 2022 by touching her private parts.
The plaintiff said she first had a massage session at the hotel’s jiva spa on April 1, 2022.
She stated that on that particular day, only male masseuses were available .
The plaintiff agreed to be attended by a male masseuse and Musonda professionly conducted the mesaage.
It was stated that on May 24, 2022, she returned to Taj Pamodzi for another massage session and despite the availability of female masseuses, she recommended that Musonda attended to her owing to his previous professional conduct.
It was then alleged that during the course of the session, Musonda started massaging erogenous zones and that she immediately went into tonic immobility.
“The Plaintiff avers that while in the state of tonic immobility, she tried to wriggle away but felt trapped in her body ard helpless.
“The first defendant (Musonda) then continued to assault her by asking her unbefitting questions such as if he could ejaculate on her to which the Plaintiff said no,” she stated.
She alleged that the defendant attempted to pick her nipples to which she gained her mobility, moved her body away and managed to shove Musonda off.
“Being a former victim of sexual abuse, she was immediately retraumatized by the first defendant’s actions which led to her tonic mobility and her out of body experience,” she said.
She informed the husband about the abuse and proceeded to report the defendant to hotel senior management.
“That after follow-ups with the second defendant, the hotel responded in writing to the Plaintiff on the 16th of June 2022 stating that Musonda could not be found wanting. The Plaintiff further avers that the above response was given to her without her being availed with a proper investigation report,” she stated.
Dissatisfied with management’s response, Njelesani requested that she and her husband be allowed to view the CCTV to prove the sexual abuse, have not had sight of the footage.
The plaintiff stated that due to the sexual harassment, she suffered emotional harm, mental damage, re-trauma, depression, shock, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and financial loss.
Njelesani is seeking compensatory damages from Musonda for the indecent assault and the hotel to pay damages arising out of the negligent discharge of duty to carry out investigations and failure to provide a secure environment.
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