The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Cop Gets 10 Years for Raping Paralysed Woman

A CHINHOYI police officer who raped a partially paralysed woman after dragging her into his brothers' house on the pretext that he wanted to collect his cellphone was yesterday jailed for an effective 10 years.

Lawrence Mashonganyika, who was stationed at ZRP Kenzamba, Chinhoyi, had pleaded not guilty to the charges when his trial opened before regional magistrate Mr Clever Tsikwa, but he was convicted because of overwhelming evidence.

Mr Tsikwa sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment of which five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

In passing sentence, Mr Tsikwa concurred with prosecutor Ms Tracy Mundanga that Mashonganyika's moral blameworthiness was very high as he was a duly attested member of ZRP who had shown that he did not mind giving a bad name to the police force.

He said rape was a serious invasion of privacy and it was an offence which can go unreported because rape victims were normally shy.

In mitigation, Mashonganyika said he had five children with five different women and he was the sole breadwinner.

Mashonganyika was at one point the complainants' neighbour.

Ms Mundanga proved that on August 26 this year at around 7.45pm, the complainant met Mashonganyika on her way to her grandmother's house. The pair started talking and Mashonganyika invited the 20-year-old woman to accompany him to his brother's home where he wanted to collect his cellphone which was being charged.

Mashonganyika invited the woman into the house so she could greet his grandmother, he held her arm and pulled her inside the house and took her to a room where there were no other people.

The cop pushed the complainant and she fell onto the bed. As she tried to get up he started fondling her.

The complainant tried to push off Mashonganyika, but he overpowered the woman and raped her.

The woman went to her grandmothers' house where she narrated her ordeal to her sister who in turn made a report which led to Mashonganyika's arrest

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