AN Insuza man in Matabeleland North who was employed as a domestic worker by a villager raped his employer’s 13-year-old daughter and threatened to cut her throat if she told anyone.
This was heard when Moses Phakathi (23) appeared before Bulawayo Regional Court magistrate Mark Dzira on Friday facing a rape charge.
Phakathi denied the charge, but Dzira convicted and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.
However, four years of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
In his ruling, Dzira said the victim was an impressive witness.
“She said you carried her on your bicycle to that place where you later raped her and threatened to stab her with a knife if she resisted or told anyone about that,” he said.
“She said when you called her to accompany you she was with a nine-year-old friend and another girl.”
Dzira said the nine-year-old was also called as a witness and she had told the court that when Phakathi called the 13-year-old, she suggested she go with her friends but he had insisted that only the older girl accompany him.
Dzira said the nine-year-old indicated that on the following day her friend told her that Phakathi had raped her.
“She said the complainant told her that you promised to buy her a pair of panties and jiggies,” he said.
“She then said she told her father about the issue. But in your defence you said on January 8 2014 you were in Binga.
“That can be true because the complainant said that happened some weeks before Christmas.
“The two State witnesses corroborated each other’s evidence. The two know you and the evidence they gave is clear and credible.
“The nine-year-old was very precise and articulate in talking about what she was told by the complainant.”
Dzira said the two girls of such a young age could not have sat down and framed him.
In mitigation Phakathi said he was married with two children aged five and two years.
He said he was employed by the girl’s parents as a domestic worker and had not been paid for nine months. He asked the court to consider that he was a bread winner and his employer had not paid him for a long time.
He asked the court to ensure that his family would benefit from the money his employer owed him when he is jailed. Dzira said the court considered that he was a first offender.
“But cases of sexual child abuse are on the increase these days and they are mostly committed by people whom the children know and are close to.
“You were employed by the child’s parents and you were looked up to, to protect the child as an adult, but you betrayed the trust vested in you,” he said.
The prosecutor Tinashe Dzipe told the court that on January 8 this year the girl was sent by her step-father to another homestead to collect a spray.
On her way, the complainant met other two girls whom she asked to accompany her.
While they were walking, Phakathi appeared and asked the 13-year-old girl to accompany him to village 2C.
The girl agreed and he carried her on his bicycle. While in a bushy area, he alighted from the bicycle and ordered her to get off.
He then asked her to engage in sexual intercourse with him, but she refused. Phakathi then pushed her to the ground and raped her.
He threatened to cut off her throat with a knife if she reported the matter.
The girl went home and told her mother on January 15. The mother then reported the matter to the police, leading to Phakathi’s arrest.