Binga — A 44-year-old man has appeared in court charged with three counts of rape after he allegedly forced himself on his minor step granddaughter.
The girl, aged 11 and doing Grade 5 at a local school, had been left in the man's custody while the grandmother was admitted in hospital.
On granny's return from hospital almost a month later, the girl reported her ordeal but the man ordered his wife to never talk about the issue hence the rape was concealed.
Paul Muzamba, of Malalya Village, in Binga allegedly promised the girl some biscuits to buy her silence after abusing her and later threatened his wife with unspecified action if ever she reported him.
Prosecutors said Muzamba forced the girl into sex on February 14 and was to abuse her on two more occasions during the same month.
Muzamba was not asked to plead to three counts of rape when he appeared before Hwange magistrate, Sharon Rosemani.
He was remanded in custody waiting to be given a trial date.
"On February 14, 2017, the girl's grandmother was admitted to St Luke's Hospital in Lupane and she remained in the custody of the grandfather.
"The two shared a bedroom hut and on the same day during the night, a naked Muzamba sneaked into the girl's blankets, removed her panties, lifted her skirt while promising to buy her some biscuits," said the prosecutor, Onias Nkala.
The court heard that on that night, Muzamba raped the girl once before returning to his blankets where he slept as if nothing had happened.
On two separate incidents during the same month, Muzamba would, in the same manner, leave his blankets and sneak into the girl's whereupon he would allegedly force her to lie facing upwards and rape her.
He ordered the girl not to tell anyone about the matter but the juvenile braved it up and narrated her ordeal to her grandmother when she was discharged on March 5.
"The grandmother tried to report the issue but was threatened by the accused person and his family," said the prosecutor.
The case was only reported by a teacher who overheard some villagers talking about the rape in May but out of fear the girl denied that she had been raped.
She and her grandmother only opened up on July 12 after being interrogated by the police.