A 26-YEAR-OLD Macheke man was on Tuesday slapped with an 18-year jail term by Marondera magistrate Lois Mukunyadzi after he was convicted of raping his neighbour’s granddaughter.
By Wadzanai Madhibha
He will, however, serve an effective 15 years behind bars after three years were suspended on condition that he would not commit an offence of sexual nature in the next five years.
Tatenda Nyakatembo had pleaded not guilty of the rape charge.
Prosecutor Tariro Shirichena told the court that on April 1 this year and at around midday, Nyakatembo approached his neighbour’s 13-year-old granddaughter. He asked her what she was going to cook since her grandmother was in Harare.
The girl said she was going to cook pumpkins. He then invited her to come and take fish.
Upon arrival at Nyakatembo’s residence, the minor was dragged to the bedroom where she was raped. The accused then told her to return home and take a bath and wash her clothes and not to tell anyone what had happened.
But the minor went to one of her aunts and revealed what had happened. A report was made to the police, leading to Nyakatembo’s arrest.
In mitigation, Nyakatembo pleaded with the court to have mercy on him saying he was in love with the minor and wanted to marry her. However, his claims were dismissed. In passing sentence Mukunyadzi said the young girl sustained very serious injuries such that she had to be stitched.
The magistrate said the rape traumatised the victim.
She said the accused deserved a long custodial sentence to send a message to would-be offenders.