By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for raping his 12-year-old girlfriend.
Tinomudaishe Macheza from Mawabeni area pleaded not guilty to rape when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate, Mrs Sibonginkosi Mkandla but was convicted of statutory rape.
He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment and three years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
In passing sentence, Mrs Mkandla said when Macheza committed the offence the complainant was under-age and therefore, had not reached the age of consent as stated by the law.
In his defence Macheza said he did not rape the complainant as she had consented to having sexual intercourse with him because she was his girlfriend.
Prosecuting, Mr Johannes Tlou said Macheza who is a herdsman at Stanton Farm, raped the juvenile who cannot be named for ethical reasons sometime in January.
“Sometime in the month of January Macheza met the complainant at Stanton Farm where her father works. He proposed love to the complainant who accepted the proposal. On 29 January at around 9AM Macheza went to the complainant’s home and asked her to accompany him to his home.
“Macheza requested to have sexual intercourse with the complainant who agreed. He took her into his bedroom and had sexual intercourse with her. The matter came to light on the following day when the complainant’s mother noticed that her daughter wasn’t feeling well as she was experiencing stomach pains, back ache and was bleeding from her private parts,” he said.
Mr Tlou said the complainant’s mother questioned her daughter who revealed that she had sexual intercourse with Macheza. The matter was reported to the police leading to Macheza’s arrest. The Chronicle