By Tanaka Mrewa
A Bulawayo Traffic West police officer who turned his step-daughter (15) into a sex slave, threatening to kill her if she exposed him, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.
A court heard that the officer bragged to the girl and her mother that he would destroy all the evidence if they reported him to the police.
Custom Farai (32) had pleaded not guilty to rape but Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Mr Chrispen Mberewere convicted him due to overwhelming evidence.
Mr Mberewere suspended five years from the 20-year sentence, for five years on condition of good behaviour.
“This court seeks to protect the girl child from societal misfits like you. It does so by sending such people to jail for a very long time. Instead of protecting her you violated her rights and used your position of authority. Police officers should be at the forefront of protecting young children,” he said.
The court heard that the step-daughter, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, had visited her mother in Bulawayo from Mutare.
She testified that her mother left her alone at home while she went to the shops with her other siblings.
“My step-father found me sweeping in the sitting room. He asked me to get his car keys from the bedroom. He came after me and pushed me onto the bed.
“I fell on my back and he pinned me down with both hands. He raped me once. I bled during the process and I messed my clothes and the blankets. He pointed an okapi knife at me, threatening to stab me should I reveal the ordeal to anyone,” she said.
“He ordered me to wash the blankets. When my mother returned, she asked me why I was washing them. I was scared to tell her what had happened,” she said.
The victim told the court her step- father began habitually raping her whenever her mother was away.
She said when she finally told her mother, she was furious and confronted Farai.
“He chased us around the house and threatened to kill us both if we reported him to the police. He said it was easy for him to make the evidence against him disappear because he is a police officer.”
The girl’s mother testified that Farai got aggressive when her daughter fell sick and he refused to let her go to hospital.
“He said I should take her to Dube, his friend who is a prophet so that he could pray for her. I told him that my daughter had missed her periods but he didn’t seem bothered. He brought her some tablets but still refused to give us money so that she could go to the hospital,” she said.
It was not disclosed in court what the girl was suffering from.
In his defence, Farai said: “We had an argument with my wife after I told her that I wanted to marry a second wife. She said it would be better that I marry her daughter than to marry a stranger.”
The prosecutor, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa, said the girl’s evidence was consistent.
“Her mother denied offering her in marriage and you failed to challenge her. Neither could you challenge that you are an abusive man. You failed to challenge the allegation that you threatened to use your position to conceal evidence against you, neither could you explain why you refused to take your daughter to the hospital,” he said. The Chronicle