A Bulawayo man, aged 59, was arrested for allegedly raping his 16-year old stepgranddaughter- a Second Former- who he is said to have proposed love to.

The accused person from Nketa 8 suburb whose identity cannot be revealed on ethical grounds, was last week arraigned before Gwanda regional magistrate Sibonginkosi Mkandla, charged with rape.

He pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges laid against him and was remanded out of custody to September 24 on $1 000 bail.

The victim, who is in Form Two, was allegedly raped sometime in May while in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province.

The court heard that on an unknown day, but in the month of January, the teenage complainant was sent by her mother to collect lemons from the accused person’s house in Nketa 8 suburb, Bulawayo.

It is the state’s case that the complainant found the accused person alone at home and he proposed love to the teenager who allegedly turned down his proposal.

The 16-year old girl is said to have left the complainant’s homestead, afterwards.
And, in May this year, the complainant and her siblings went to Esigodini to visit the accused person and their grandmother.

“The accused person found the complainant cleaning his bedroom and he requested to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused. He stopped the complainant from leaving, grabbed her by the hand and forcibly removed her clothes,” said Khumbulani Nyoni, who represented the state.

According to Nyoni, the accused person then pushed the complainant onto the bed and raped her before threatening her with assault as punishment in the event that she reported the matter to anyone.

But the complainant then fled from the accused rapist’s homestead and narrated the ordeal she went through to her mother.

The accused person was then arrested after the matter was reported to the police.

Through his legal representative Costar Dube of Dube and Associates Legal Practitioners, the accused person , in turn, denies both raping and proposing love to the juvenile.

“My client denies proposing love to the complainant or making any inappropriate comments to her anytime either at his house in Nketa or at his rural home. He denies having sexual intercourse with the complainant with or without her consent and states that during the period in question he was staying with 10 other people at his rural home leaving him with no chance to be alone with the complainant at any point in time whether during the day or night,” Dube submitted.

“These allegations were fabricated by the complainant just to avoid being taken to the rural home where she will be restricted and admonished regularly because of her wayward behaviour. He also disputes that the complainant left the rural home out of fear of being further abused by him as at the time he was mostly staying in town and only going to his rural home on weekends. My client denies doing anything wrong to the complainant beyond verbally admonishing her,” he added.

On the other hand, in a testimony made on camera, the complainant said her stepgrandfather made remarks to her insinuating that she was now a grown up, and that she could now have sexual intercourse with him.

When she was raped in May, the complainant said, the accused person had taken the victim and her siblings to his rural home after Zimbabwean schools prematurely closed due to the coronavirus induced national lockdown.

state media
additional reporting: Zwnews