GWERU — A 68-year-old Lower Gweru man was yesterday jailed for an effective nine years after being convicted of raping his 11-year-old step-daughter on several occasions.
During the period extending from October 2012 to March this year, the accused, from Pakhama village, Chief Bunina, Lower Gweru, took advantage of the girl left in his custody by her mother who was attending various church meetings and raped the victim on six occasions.
The accused would threaten to cut the complainant’s neck each time he raped her. The matter, however, came to light in March this year after the girl reported the abuse to her grandmother.
Gweru regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire sentenced the accused to nine years in prison, saying he had betrayed the trust bestowed on him as a father by raping an innocent child who looked up to him for protection.
Charges were that between October 2012 and March 2013 and on the first occasion, the accused called the complainant to his bedroom and asked her to undress. He removed his clothes and raped the girl once.
On another date during the same period, the accused approached the girl in the kitchen going about her chores. The accused person closed the door and raped her once.
Soon after that, the accused ordered the girl to sit on a bench, before raping her again. On another occasion, the girl was sent to fetch firewood in the bush and the accused followed her, pushed her to the ground before raping her.
In a similar act, the accused called the complainant, who had gone to fetch water and instructed her to undress before shoving her to the ground and raping her.
On all the occasions the accused threatened to sever the complainant’s neck with a knife if she reported the matter to anyone.
The matter, however, came to light on March 5 this year, when the girl told her grandmother about her ordeals, leading to the arrest of the accused.
In his defence, the accused denied raping the complainant, saying the story was concocted by the girl’s grandmother, as they were not in good books.
However, a medical report showed that the girl had been sexually abused on several occasions.