By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A 60 year old man from Filabusi has been jailed 20 years for raping and impregnating his 17-year-old granddaughter.
The man from Gwatemba area, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, raped the girl, who is his daughter’s stepdaughter, thrice in February last year 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 but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.
He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and five years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
In passing sentence, Mr Dzira said the State had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the man had committed the offence.
“From the evidence which has been presented before this court, I have concluded that the State has managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the offence and therefore I find you guilty as charged.
“The offence you committed is a serious one. Rape is a serious violation of one’s body and to make it worse you raped a young girl and went on to impregnate her.
This is an incident that will probably haunt her for the rest of her life and you have ruined her future. This child looked up to you as her guardian and you were supposed to protect her but went on to harm her. You deserve a deterrent sentence which will serve as a lesson for like-minded people,” he said.
Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube said the matter came to light in May 2018 after the girl fell pregnant.
“On a date unknown but in the month of February 2018, the complainant was staying with accused person at his homestead when he proposed love to her but she turned him down. 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 the accused person 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 accused the complainant’s relatives of fabricating the allegations in a bid to fix him.
He said they accused him of impregnating the juvenile and told him that he had to marry her. The man said this came as a shock to him as he didn’t have sexual intercourse with the juvenile.
He said after he refused to marry the girl her family went on to make a false report to the police in order to fix him. The Chronicle