ZIMBABWE – After two years having raped his brother’s seven-year-old daughter, the long arm of the law finally pounced on a 43-year-old Harare vendor who was on Friday sent to the penitentiary for an effective 12 years.
The rapist, who cannot be named to protect the minor, had initially been slapped with a 15 year sentence of which three years were suspended for five years on condition the does not commit an offence of a sexual nature in the same period.
When the trial opened last month, the offender had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape but was later convicted after a full trial when the State led by prosecutor Ressy Nyamombe proved beyond reasonable doubt that the former had committed the two offences.
Pronouncing the sentence, Harare regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni treated the rape counts as one and told the offender that his actions had created a rift in the family as there was probability that the parents of the accused could divorce in the future.
“The accused has caused a rift in the family and the complainant’s parents can even divorce through the relations that have been strained by the accused’s behavior.
“The age difference of 35 years between the convict and victim exacerbated the sentence. The accused is the blood brother to the complainant’s father and was supposed to protect the complainant but turned out to be the abuser,” read the magistrate.
According to the State, sometime in 2013 the accused raped the complainant and threatened to assault her if she revealed the matter, but the complainant could not stomach the pain and later told her mother that she had been raped her uncle.