By Tanaka Mrewa
A 95-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years in jail for raping his 13-year-old mentally challenged niece.
According to prosecutors, the man admitted he raped the minor when he was arrested but he pleaded not guilty in court.
The court heard that the old man lured his niece to his homestead purporting that he wanted to give her a pair of school shoes.
He was sold out by two minor girls who saw him sexually attacking his niece.
A psychiatrist diagnosed the victim, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, to be mentally challenged.
The old man told the court that he could not remember what happened because he was drunk.
Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza convicted the old man due to overwhelming evidence and sentenced him to eight years in jail.
“This court had a difficult time arriving at the sentence. You took advantage of your minor niece, who is mentally challenged. The gravity of the offence can’t be ignored but this court has taken into account your advanced age which is mitigatory. You are therefore sentenced to eight years in jail but five are suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Mr Mabeza.
Prosecuting, Mr Tinashe Dzipe told the court that on January 30 this year, the accused called the complainant to his homestead saying he wanted to give her a pair of school shoes.
“When the complainant went to the homestead, the accused ordered her to get into his bedroom hut. He followed her and raped her once. Two minor girls who were passing by the homestead saw the accused raping the complainant and they reported the matter to their uncle,” said Mr Dzipe.
He said investigations were carried out leading to the accused’s arrest. Chronicle