By Tanaka Mrewa
A 60-year-old man from Plumtree who allegedly raped his 16-year-old niece yesterday denied the charges claiming that he was impotent. His wife, who testified in court, confirmed her husband’s condition but she said his manhood does function at irregular intervals.
The man pleaded not guilty to rape and Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza remanded him in custody to tomorrow for judgment.
“Your Worship these allegations are not true. I have a serious health problem. I can’t get an erection. Even my wife can confirm to this court,” he said.
The minor, whose name has been withheld for ethical reasons, testified that sometimes her uncle did not use protection when raping her.
“He used to keep condoms in his bicycle lamp. At one point my grandmother found one used one and confronted him. He told her that he used them as elastic to tie his bicycle tubes. His defence is not true. He raped me regularly – almost every three to four days,” she said.
The minor said she made a report to her maternal aunt but she said she was scared of her attacker.
“I then went to look for my other aunt. She suffered a stroke and so can’t walk. I told her and she called my headmaster who notified the police. After the report, he (uncle) came into our bedroom hut accusing my cousin and I of promiscuity. He found a letter written to my cousin by her boyfriend. He called us into his bedroom and ordered us to remove our blouses and he scolded us without our tops on,” she said.
Prosecuting, Mr Tinashe Dzipe said the man raped the minor between August and November 2016.
“In August last year, complainant was alone at home with accused. She was preparing supper and wanted to collect mealie-meal from the accused’s bedroom. Accused locked the door and raped her once. He threatened to kill her if she screamed,” said Mr Dzipe.
“Accused would take advantage of the minor’s aunt’s absence thereafter. He raped her on several occasions. Complainant reported the matter to her aunt who asked the headmaster to assist in getting the accused arrested. The Chronicle