Landlord faces rape charge

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A BULAWAYO man yesterday appeared in court for allegedly raping his tenant’s 11-year-old niece at knife point at a house where she lived with her aunt.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

The man (33), who is also facing charges of assault and cultivating mbanje, was not asked to plead to rape when he briefly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Sibongile Msipa.

He was remanded in custody to May 27 and advised to apply to the High Court for bail.

Charges against the man are that the alleged rape victim, her aunt and step-sister were tenants at the man’s house in Iminyela.

On April 30 at around 8pm, the man was involved in an altercation with the girl and her stepsister in the absence of her aunt.

He allegedly chased them from home and the girl sought refuge at her father’s house in the same suburb, but he locked her out.

After being locked out by her father, the girl returned to their house and went into their bedroom to sleep.

The man sneaked into her bedroom and allegedly raped her at knife point.

The girl did not tell anyone of the alleged rape fearing for her life.

She, however, divulged the abuse to her stepsister three days later and she in turn informed their aunt.

The aunt confronted her landlord, but he became violent and assaulted her with bricks on the head.

She fled and reported the man at the Western Commonage Police Station.

The man was arrested and while at the charge office, police searched him and recovered two twists of mbanje in his pockets.

During interrogation, the man revealed that he had seven mbanje plants in his backyard garden which were also recovered.