A 51-YEAR-OLD Gwanda man who raped a nine-year-old orphan and gave her money, chips, vegetables and caterpillars to buy her silence was handed a 15-year prison term by Gwanda regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza.
Colleen Ncube of Garikai in Gwanda had pleaded not guilty to the rape charges, but was convicted on the weight of the evidence.
The State said during the period extending from October to December 2013, Ncube would lure the Grade 3 girl and sexually abuse her at his house and give her goodies so that she would not tell anyone.
Regional prosecutor Johannes Tlou said the matter only came to light when the girl’s brother asked her why Ncube was giving her food and taking her to the barber for a haircut and she narrated her ordeal to him.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Ncube’s arrest.
The girl was sent to Gwanda Provincial Hospital for a medical examination where a report was compiled and used in court as evidence.
Ncube denied the charges in court saying they were fabricated.
“Your worship, the girl is the one who came to my place saying she has been sent by her brothers to ask for relish as they did not have any and I gave her caterpillars and vegetables. She also asked for money and I told her that I had $1 then she asked for it saying that she needs it to cut her hair because they had been asked to cut their hair by her school,” Ncube told the magistrate.
“I gave her the $1 and told her that when she gets home she must show her brothers what I gave her, including the $1, before going to the barber shop, so your worship I’m now suffering because of my sympathy.”
In passing sentence, Mabeza said he took into account Ncube’s age and that he is a family man and the sole bread winner.
“Aggravatory is the fact that rape is a serious offence and it traumatises the victims mentally and physically. Other survivors are exposed to contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,” Mabeza said.
“In this case, what is aggravatory is the age difference between yourself and the complainant, which is 42 years, and protection of minor children is of paramount importance to the courts, therefore at the present matter you corrupted a young mind as her report shows the trauma she was enduring and besides looking at what you said in mitigation, a long jail term is appropriate.”