A 30-year old HIV positive man has appeared in court accused of raping his three children, raising fears he might have infected them with the deadly virus.
Report by Charles Laiton.
The alleged rapist is said to have molested his 10 and six-year-old daughters and sodomised his five-year-old son during the period extending from last year to February this year.
He denied the charges, saying the rape and sodomy allegations were raised against him by his wife after their marriage had irretrievably broken down following the disclosure of his HIV status.
His wife has since left for South Africa.
The man was at the High Court last week appealing for bail after being denied freedom by the Magistrates’ Courts. In his appeal, the man, whose identity has been withheld to protect the identity of the minors, told Harare High Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta that he was one of the activists who were fighting against child abuse in southern Africa and as such, he could not have sexually abused his own children.
He said at one point, he worked with child organisations in conjunction with the United Nations and was very sensitive to child abuse. He also told the court he was a successful artiste who had even been invited to perform at the just-ended Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa).
He said he had failed to attend the function because he had been denied bail.
“There is no evidence the crime was committed considering the medical affidavit. I am also the bread winner of the family and I will not stay at the same house with the children,” he told the court.
According to the court papers the man was arrested following a report to police made by his wife’s sister after receiving a report from her in South Africa.
It is alleged between the periods in question, the man was left in the custody of the minors when his wife went to South Africa on business.
The two minor girls were allegedly initially raped while staying at a house in Glen Norah and when the family later moved to Highfield, the man allegedly continued his sexual escapades and also allegedly sodomised his son.
The matter was postponed to Thursday this week when the wife’s sister is expected to give evidence before Justice Chatukuta delivers a determination on his bail appeal.