Man gets 20 years, hard labour for rape

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A Chinamhora man Robert Musarurwa (26) was yesterday convicted of raping his mentally ill sister-in-law and slapped with a 20-year jail term.
Musarurwa raped the girl every day for three weeks until a relative discovered the crime after noticing the girl was inexplicably losing weight, the court heard.
In May last year, Musarurwa and his wife took the mentally ill girl to their village so that a prophet renowned for healing the condition could pray for her
It was while there that Musarurwa took advantage of his sister-in-law.
Each time she was raped the victim would tell her sister, who blamed her for being insane instead of protecting her.
Regional magistrate Daniel Shonhiwa blamed Musarurwa’s wife for not taking action and protecting her relative.
“You have a very bad wife and I wonder why the police did not arrest her for not reporting you. She knew very well that you were abusing her mentally challenged sister but she wanted to save her marriage at the expense of the innocent girl.” Shonhiwa said.
During the trial, Musarurwa sought to apportion blame to the girl’s condition and appealed to the court to dismiss her claim, but the magistrate discounted his claim.
“I took the girl as a very simple witness who was not sophisticated although she was a slow thinker. Her testimony was coherent and consistent,” the magistrate said.
“One can actually interact with the girl although she took her time to answer questions. She would answer with a grin on her face, which is a common sign of a mentally challenged person,” Shonhiwa said.
The matter came to light when the girl’s aunt was alarmed by the girl’s loss of weight.
Upon inquiry, the victim complained of stomach ache, back pain and painful legs.
On further questioning, the girl revealed the abuse suffered at Musarurwa’s hands.
In passing sentence the magistrate said the complainant had suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her relatives and as such the court needed to protect her.
“If the court fails to protect such victims of abuse it will have failed to perform its duties,” he said. “You are to blame for the consequences. Do not blame the court – blame your wife.”
Musarurwa will serve an effective 16 years with labour after magistrate Shonhiwa suspended four years on condition of good behaviour.
Musarurwa was convicted of contravening Section 65 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Joyce Tapiwa Fusire prosecuted.