19 December 2006

Zimbabwe: 68-Year-Old Man Rapes Mentally Retarded Niece

Harare — A 68-YEAR-OLD Seke man was last week slapped with an effective 14-year jail term after a Chitungwiza magistrate convicted him of raping his 13-year-old mentally retarded niece.

The man was found guilty of taking advantage of the minor's mental status when he appeared before Regional Magistrate Mr Temba Kuwanda.

However, seven years of the sentence were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in five years.

In passing judgment, Mr Kuwanda said the man committed a serious offence and noted that the cases of elderly people raping minors and relatives were on the increase.

"The aggravating factor is that the complainant is mentally challenged.

"To make matters worse cases of this nature whereby elderly men abuse children in the community are increasing daily.

"Elderly men in communities are expected to lead by example," said Mr Kuwanda.

The State represented by prosecutor Ms Lorraine Rubaya said some time between January and March this year, the Seke man first met the complainant when she was at her grandfather's house and fondled her private parts.

The next day, when the minor was doing some duties at home, the man dragged the complainant into a house, which was still under construction.

He is said to have raped her once and threatened to kill her if she disclosed the issue to anyone.

The girl later reported the matter to her headmistress who reported the matter to the police resulting in the man's arrest.

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