A HWANGE gardener was on Tuesday jailed to 12 years for raping his employer’s nine-year-old daughter.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Naison Muleya (44) of Baobab Extension pleaded not guilty to rape, but was convicted by Hwange regional magistrate for the Western Division, Dambudzo Malunga, who sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment.
However, three years were conditionally suspended for five years.
Malunga said the courts should pass stiffer sentences on rapists to protect young girls from domestic workers.
“The court will pass a stiff sentence to send a message to society that the courts will continue to protect young girls from domestic workers that abuse them,” he said.
Prosecutor Bheki Tshabalala told the court that sometime on dates the minor could not recall but in the month of July last year, she was left in the custody of Muleya.
He allegedly called her to the back of the house where he was working.
When the complaint arrived, he grabbed her and started fondling her before undressing her.
The court heard that Muleya raped the girl once, but she did not tell anyone about her abuse.
The offence only came to light when she started complaining of stomach pains and refusing to eat.
On interrogation she revealed to her grandmother that Muleya raped her.
A police report was made, leading to Muleya’s arrest.
The minor was referred to hospital for examination and it was confirmed that she had been raped.