By Patrick Chitumba
A Zvishavane pirate taxi driver (25) has been sentenced to 20 years for raping a married woman who was menstruating after giving her a lift from Zvishavane.
The court heard that Mukudzeyi Zhou of Zvishavane raped the complainant in a bushy area in Shurugwi.
Zhou – the court proved had ignored the complainant’s plea to stop since she was on her menstrual period and raped her once without using protection.
After raping the complainant- Zhou dumped her around 8PM along Shurugwi-Gweru road after taking away her cellphone and national identity card.
Zhou appeared before Gweru regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing one count of rape.
Zhou pleaded not guilty.
Mrs Msipa sentenced him to 20 years before suspending three years on condition of good behavior.
In passing sentence, the regional magistrate said Zhou also assaulted the complainant before raping her.
“The rape was pre-planned because the accused lured the complainant- until it was dark. He lied that he was collecting potatoes and lowered her dignity as a married woman who was also on her menstruation cycle.
Members of society should have confidence in public transporters. The accused deserve a stiffer sentence which will act as a deterrent sentence to other likeminded people. He is sentenced to 20 years in prison of which three years are wholly suspended on condition of good behavior,” she said.
It was the State’s case that on June 15 last year, Zhou offered the complainant a lift from Zvishavane Bus Terminus to Gweru.
In the vehicle, the court heard was a police jacket, police Outpost magazine and a pair of handcuffs, since the vehicle belongs to a police officer.
The court heard that along the way, Zhou didn’t pick any passengers and said he was rushing to his home in Woodlands Park in Gweru.
When he approached Dollar turn off along the Shurugwi- Gweru road, Zhou told the complainant that he wanted to make a brief detour to pick up a sack of potatoes and it was around 8PM.
The court heard that the complainant agreed without suspecting anything since she thought Zhou was a police officer.
Zhou drove for about 15km and he turned right and drove about 100 metres before stopping the car and switching off the engine.
The court heard that Zhou dropped the complainant’s seat and ordered her to undress while attempting to strangle her.
The complainant told Zhou she was married and was on her menstrual period.
The court heard that Zhou ignored her pleas and raped her once without using protection.
After raping the complainant, Zhou forcibly took her smartphone and ordered her to disembark from his vehicle and drove back to Zvishavane.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Zhou’s arrest. The Chronicle