By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A 60 year old Filabusi man has been arrested for allegedly raping and impregnating his 17-year-old stepdaughter.
The man from Gwatemba area who cannot be named for ethical reasons raped the girl three times in February while she was staying at his homestead.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of rape when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira. The man was remanded out of custody on $100 bail to January 14.
Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube said the matter came to light in May after the girl fell pregnant.
“On a date unknown but in the month of February the complainant was staying with accused person at his homestead when he proposed love to her but she turned him down. On the following day, he sent her to collect water and followed her to the river. He called her into a bush and raped her.
“He raped her two more times on two consecutive days and warned her against reporting the matter. The matter came to light in May after the complainant had returned to her home in Zezani area. Her grandfather suspected that she was pregnant and when he questioned her the complainant revealed what her step father had done to her. The matter was reported to the police resulting in the arrest of the accused person,” he said.
Mr Dube said medical tests that were conducted at the time revealed that the complainant was three months pregnant.
In his defence, the accused person who is being represented by Mr Sibanda of Tanaka Law Chambers accused the complainant’s relatives of fabricating the allegations in a bid to fix him.
“My client was shocked when the complainant’s relatives accused him of impregnating the juvenile and told him that he had to marry her. This came as a shock to him as he didn’t have sexual intercourse with the juvenile.
“After my client refused to marry the girl her family went on to make a false report to the police in order to persecute him. My client will maintain that these charges are a fabrication aimed at tarnishing his image and fixing him for refusing to marry the juvenile,” said Mr Sibanda.
In her statement in court which she made in camera the complainant said her step father first proposed love to her and when she refused he raped her.
She said her step father would send her to fetch water alone leaving the other children behind and he would follow her to the river and rape her there. The Chronicle