A 30-year-old Bulawayo man, who raped a Grade Two pupil and later bought her silence by giving her a grasshopper, was yesterday slapped with a 40-year jail term.
Flaza Mkoma, of Mzilikazi suburb, was convicted on two counts of rape despite his plea of not guilty when he appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate, Godwin Sengweni.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on each count, but the court later ordered the sentences to run concurrently, meaning he will now serve an effective 20-year-jail term.
In sentencing him, Sengweni said at 30, Mkoma was sexually active and could have exposed the minor to HIV and Aids.
“In assessing sentence, I considered that the victim was six years old at the time of the rape and accused was 30 years. At 30 years, accused was obviously sexually active exposing the child to diseases like HIV and Aids. A sentence which borders in the upper limits is in my view most appropriate,” said Sengweni.
Public prosecutor Sifiso Ndlovu told the court that sometime in June, Mkoma called the six-year-old complainant, who lives in his neighbourhood to a nearby bush in Mzilikazi suburb and raped her once.
After raping her, Mkoma caught a grasshopper and gave it to the child so that she would not reveal the matter to her mother.
However, when she returned home the child’s mother quizzed her about where she had been and she revealed she had been hunting for grasshoppers with Mkoma.
The mother became suspicious, but did to take any action.The matter came to light on June 18 when Mkoma called the girl to his house and switched on his television set for her to watch. After a few minutes, he took the girl to his bedroom and raped her once again.
When the minor went home, she spilled the beans to her mother. The mother physically examined her and discovered that she had been raped.
She made a police report, leading to Mkoma’s arrest.