INCARCERATED Buhera traditional leader Chief Chitsunge – Magaya Gunguwo – who is serving a 10-year effective jail term for raping his subject, a 14-year-old girl, yesterday made an application for bail pending appeal at the High Court.
Report by Charles Laiton
The 83-year-old traditional leader was slapped with a 15-year jail term by a Rusape Magistrate who suspended a portion of his jail term on condition of good behaviour.
However, his bail application hearing was postponed after prosecutor Charles Manhiri indicated to High Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta that the State had not prepared its response.
The matter was postponed to Tuesday next week to enable the State to file its response.
Through his lawyer Walter Bherebhende, Gunguwo argued that he was a suitable candidate for bail pending appeal against his conviction.
“He is aged 83 and clearly at that age he cannot be expected to run away and start a new life. He strongly feels he was wrongly convicted and being the current chief he is desirous of clearing his name by having the appeal prosecuted quickly,” Bherebhende said.
“He is aware that his appeal has got very bright prospects of success against conviction and hence has no reason to abscond.”
The traditional leader was convicted of sexually attacking the girl daily between February and August last year at his residence in Chitsunge village.
The teenage victim said the chief started his sexual prowls on her when he returned from attending the chiefs’ conference held at the beginning of last year in Bulawayo.
This was after the chief, before leaving for the conference, requested the girl’s mother to allow her daughter to stay with other children at his home.