Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

15 November 2012

Tanzania: Rukwa Man Takes 30 Years for Rape

Sumbawanga — THE District Magistrate's Court in Sumbawanga has ordered a resident of Ntendo Village, Richard Mlingwa (21), to go to jail for 30 years for raping a mentally retarded girl child aged nine years.

The court also ordered that the convict get 12 strokes of the cane (six strokes as soon as he begins serving his sentence and the rest the day he walks out of jail). Passing the judgment, the Magistrate, Mr Adam Mwanjokolo, told the court the accused had committed the offence beyond reasonable doubt.

"Actually the prosecution side has proved its case against you beyond reasonable doubt," he told the convict. "You committed the offence, a situation that is inhuman and very barbaric. I, therefore, sentence you to thirty year in prison," he added. "I pass this severe sentence so that it serves as a lesson not only to you but also to others who could commit a similar crime," he said.

"Also, you will take 12 strokes of the cane, six once you start serving your jail term and the rest immediately after completing the sentence," added Mr Mwanjokolo. Prosecuting earlier, Assistant Inspector of Police Emanuel Shani charged before the court that the accused committed the crime on July 8, this year, at around noon in Ntendo Village in the municipality of Sumbawanga.

"Although the accused had no previous criminal record, I ask the court to hand him a severe punishment that will serve as a lesson to others who harbour similar evil habits," the prosecutor charged before the court. The prosecution side summoned three witnesses including the victim's mother to substantiate its case before the court.

The defence side had called in only one witness. It was alleged before the court that on that material day, the accused was caught in the act by neighbours who found him naked and on top of the mentally retarded child in a banana farm. But he managed to escape from the scene of incident.

However, while at home, the girl's mother noticed that her daughter was walking awkwardly, and when she inquired into the matter, her relatives including neghbours told her the whole story, revealing the name of the accused.

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