A 51-YEAR-OLD HIV-positive man was on Monday slapped with a 60-year jail term for raping his 10-year-old niece on three occasions, thereby exposing her to the deadly virus.
Presiding magistrate Never Katiyo heard that the rapist, whose identity has been withheld, also had unprotected sexual intercourse with his girlfriend on several occasions without disclosing his HIV status to her.
The girlfriend, whose identity could not be disclosed, since she is a victim, only got to know that her fiancé was on anti-retroviral therapy after she was summoned to testify in his rape trial.
The rapist will, however, spend the next 50 years behind bars after 10 years of his sentence were suspended on condition of good
In passing sentence, Katiyo decried the high incidence of sexual violence especially against minor children.
He said the issue of sexual violence had become a thorn in the flesh and had even attracted the attention of the country’s top leadership.
“We urge the legislature to re-look into the maximum jurisdiction accorded to the regional magistrates from the current 20 years per count which seems not to deter sexual offenders,” Katiyo said.
“The accused’s conduct is similar to that of Satanism. He embarked on a sexual escapade, spreading the deadly virus to unsuspecting women. He, therefore, needs to be stopped before killing more
Katiyo further said the rapist was lucky to have escaped an even longer jail term since the girl had failed to remember and to recount some of the sexual attacks.
The rape incidents occurred when the girl, who is now in Grade Five, had been left in the custody of her mother’s sister (the rapist’s wife) following her mother’s death sometime in December last year.
She, however, managed to vividly narrate only three occasions when she was raped while her mother’s sister had gone to Zambia and at one point to attend a funeral.
Prosecutor Chipo Hungwe told the court that each time he raped her, the rapist would threaten to kill her if she spilled the beans.
However, his luck ran out last month when his daughter-in-law visited him and discovered that the minor had difficulties in walking after contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Upon interrogation, she eventually disclosed the sexual abuse, leading to her foster father’s arrest.