By Courtney Matende
TWO knife-wielding men from Bulawayo who broke into a Lower Gweru school teacher’s house and gang-raped her before assaulting the deputy headmaster, have been sentenced to 37 years in jail each.
Knowledge Prince Nkomo (26) and Hloniphani Sibanda (28), whose addresses were not given but are from Bulawayo, appeared before Gweru regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa each facing a count of rape, attempted murder and unlawful entry.
The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were however, convicted after a full trial and the regional magistrate sentenced them each to 20 years for rape, 10 years for attempted murder and seven years for unlawful entry.
Mrs Msipa suspended nine and half years from their sentences on condition of good behaviour.
It was the State’s case that on July 8 last year, Nkomo and Sibanda went to a primary school in Lower Gweru and broke into a female teacher’s house.
The court heard how Nkomo and Sibanda, who were armed with a knife, an iron bar and an axe, approached the complainant who was sleeping with her children and threatened to kill her.
They searched the house and took away RTGS$15 and an Android cellphone.
Nkomo and Sibanda blind folded the complainant and gang raped her in the presence of her two children.
After raping the complainant, the two force-marched her to the deputy headmaster’s house where they ordered her to knock and lie that her daughter was sick. When the deputy headmaster opened the door they forcibly gained entry.
Nkomo and Sibanda assaulted him and stabbed him demanding keys to the school safe which they wanted to open.
When he could not produce them, they attacked him leaving him for dead.
They took some clothes and went away.
The duo was arrested in Bulawayo following a tip off by members of the public leading to the recovery of some of the stolen property.
Mrs Prisca Kanhukamwe appeared for the State. The Chronicle