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31 years for robbery, rape


A 32-year-old vagrant was slapped with a 31-year jail term for robbing and raping a HIV positive 17-year-old girl three months ago.

Harare regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa yesterday convicted Vengesai Mugwagwa and sentenced him to an effective 23-years’ imprisonment after suspending eight-years on condition of good behaviour.

In passing sentence the magistrate equated Mugwagwa’s behaviour to that of a rabid dog and lamented the lesser sentences provided for by legislation in robbery cases.

“There is need to deter the accused (Mugwagwa) and those of like mind. The accused behaved like a rabid dog and the court feels that sentences for robbery offenders are lenient considering the trail of problems it leaves victims with, for example, trauma, death, injury and or loss of property,” Kachambwa said.

The court heard on March 20 this year, Mugwagwa intercepted the teenager at Mbare Market after she disembarked from a rural bus at around 9pm.

Mugwagwa produced an okapi knife, threatened the teenager with death and force-marched her to Mukuvisi River.

While at the river, Mugwagwa ordered the teenager to undress and raped her without using protection.

In his judgment magistrate Kachambwa said: “The complainant tested HIV positive when she was medically examined and the court is left in doubt as to the origin of the disease because accused on his arrest was not subjected to the same tests.”

The complainant told the court that after the rape, Mugwagwa robbed her of all her belongings and later force-marched her back to Mbare Market close to the Zimpost offices, where he ordered her to sleep with him in the same blankets.

However, Mugwagwa’s luck ran out when he fell asleep prompting the teenager to sneak out and seek help from security guards who were close by.

The court heard Mugwagwa was then apprehended while in deep slumber and taken to the police station.

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