A 20-year-old Gwanda man, who allegedly raped his three-year-old cousin on several occasions and infected her with a sexually transmitted infection, is HIV-positive.
The man confessed before Gwanda regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza that he had tested positive last year and was on anti-retroviral drugs and knew his HIV status when he committed the offence sometime this year.
Medical records produced in court also confirmed that the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is HIV-positive.
He, however, denied the rape allegations in court.
Allegations as outlined by State prosecutor Johannes Tlou, are that on an unknown date between February and October this year, the little girl was left in the care of the man by her mother during the day and he took advantage of this to sexually abuse her.
The matter only came to light on October 7 when the girl’s mother was bathing her and noticed a yellowish discharge from the girl’s private parts.
She asked the girl who told her mother what her uncle did to her. A report was made to the police, leading to the man’s arrest.
The man was taken to hospital where doctors examined him and noticed that he had a discharge similar to that from the girl.
The girl was examined at Gwanda Provincial Hospital where the abuse was confirmed.
In his defence, the man denied the charges saying if he had indeed raped her cousin she could have died.
“Considering our ages, she was supposed to suffer serious injuries on her private parts and she would have died,” the man said.
He denied ever producing a discharge saying he only had sores on his private parts which were treated by a herbalist in February.
Tlou put it to him that it was the herbalist who advised him to sleep with a young girl to heal his aliment, but he denied the allegations.
The State closed its case after three defence witnesses took to the witnesses stand.
Judgment has been set down for December 13.