By Garikai Mafirakureva
A 37-YEAR-OLD Chiredzi man will spend the next 18 years behind bars for sexually abusing his 10-year-old step-daughter several times.
Two years were set aside on condition of good behaviour.
Prosecutor Batanai Emmanuel Mathose told the court that on a date unknown to him, but from mid-January to February 9, 2019, the convict took advantage of his wife’s absence and raped the girl, threatening to assault her with a switch if she screamed. He also ordered the complainant not to disclose the ordeal to anyone.
The prosecutor said the minor informed her mother of the abuse that same day, but was told not disclose the rape to anyone.
The convict took advantage of the cover-up and continued raping the complainant several times on different occasions, using the same modus operandi. He was, however, arrested after police got a tip-off from members of the public.
His wife is yet to appear in court, facing charges of defeating the course of justice as defined in section 184  [e] of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9: 23, after she treated lacerations on her 10-year-old child’s private parts with methylated spirit to conceal sexual abuse by her lover.
She is also facing charges of contravening section 7 of the Children’s Act Chapter 5,06 on ‘’ill-treatment or neglect of children and young persons” after she allegedly, neglected and exposed her daughter to ill- treatment by leaving her in the custody of her lover, knowing well that he was sexually abusing her.