The Herald (Harare)

13 February 2013

Zimbabwe: 15 Years for Rape

A Chitungwiza man's plea that he was a blood donor could not save him from going to prison for an effective 12 years for raping a 15-year-old girl he had promised to take home. The girl had run away from home after her parents assaulted her for misbehaving and spent two nights on the streets. Darlington Chigwida (24) pleaded with the court during mitigation to be lenient with him, saying he was contributing immensely to the national blood bank.

He said a prison term would affect his service to the nation. Chitungwiza regional magistrate Ms Estere Chivasa advised Chigwida that going to prison would not stop him from donating blood and as such he could continue offering his services.

She sentenced Chigwida to 15 years in prison, but set aside three years on condition of good behaviour.

In passing sentence, Ms Chivasa took into account that Chigwida was a first offender, but that he was facing a serious offence. She also noted that Chigwida's moral blameworthiness was high because he took advantage of the girl's vulnerability.

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