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Visually-impaired man gets 14 years for raping niece

A 75-year-old visually-impaired Gweru man has been sentenced to 14 years for raping his 14-year-old niece at his mother-in-law’s house.

He appeared before Gweru regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa recently, facing one count of rape.

He was convicted after a full trial despite pleading not guilty to the charge.

In sentencing the man, Mrs Msipa said ordinarily, elderly people should not be sent to prison.

She said because of the seriousness of the offence, the man deserved to be imprisoned because he abused the complainant’s trust because of their close relationship and also traumatised her.

“The accused was supposed to protect the minor, but he reduced himself to an ordinary rapist and deserves imprisonment,” said Mrs Msipa.

“He is sentenced to 14 years, of which three years of his sentence are suspended on condition of good behaviour.”

In his defence, the man accused his niece of framing him for unknown reasons.

It was the State’s case that in November 2017, the man allegedly visited his mother-in-law who was staying with the complainant in Shurugwi.

The court heard that the mother-in-law went to fetch fire wood at a nearby bush, leaving the complainant in the company of the accused.

The court heard that the man requested for water to drink from his niece, who obliged.

The complainant knelt before the man to give him the water he had requested.

He grabbed her by her waist, pushed her to the ground and raped her once while covering her mouth.

He threatened to kill her if she revealed the rape to anyone.

The following day, the man gave his niece a $1 before returning to Gweru.

The niece went to her mother’s house where she observed that she was having difficulties in walking and interrogated her.

The complainant told her mother that she had been raped by her man and they reported the matter to the police, leading to his arrest. The Herald