Tinashe Zisengwe

A 29 year old man from Shurugwi who raped and impregnated his 15-year-old niece after he told her that he wanted to take her as his second wife has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

The accused person of Mazuwa Forest, Shurugwi, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the minor, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape when he appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mr Morgan Nemadire.

The Magistrate sentenced the accused person to 20 years imprisonment, furthermore three years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

In passing the sentence, Mr Nemadire said that the accused person betrayed the trust of the child.

“It is now the duty of the court to protect the victims especially women and children who are vulnerable to rapists.

“Hence a heavy custodial sentence will surely serve justice,” said Mr Nemadire.

Prosecuting, Mr Lloyd Mavhiza told the court that on count one, in April last year at Mazuwa, Shurugwi, the complainant was sent to buy vegetables by the accused person’s wife and she was accompanied by the accused.

“After buying the vegetables, the two proceeded home and during their walk the accused person told the complainant that he wanted her to be his second wife,” said Mr Mavhiza.

He said that the complainant refused this and the accused went on to grab the complainant’s hand, dragged her into the forest and started fondling her breasts.

“The complainant started crying but the accused grabbed her mouth with his other hand, undressed her and raped her once.

“The accused threatened to kill the complainant if she revealed the event to anyone,” he said.

The court heard that on count two during the month of April last year the complainant was sent to buy some kapenta at the nearby shops.

 “Whilst she was on her way back she met the accused who told her that he wanted to go with her to the forest to collect round nuts.

“The complainant complied and followed the accused person who started to fondle her breasts, undressed her before he raped her once,” said Mr Mavhiza.

 He said that the matter came to light on August 18 last year when the complainant went to Chinhoyi for a holiday and her aunt interviewed her if she was not pregnant.

The complainant narrated the whole story to her aunt leading to the arrest of the accused person.