A 52-year-old man from Jotsholo in Lupane District who turned his stepdaughter into a sex slave in the absence of his wife has been jailed for 24 years.
The man, whose name has been withheld to protect the 11-year-old juvenile's identity, raped the girl on several occasions and threatened to assault her if she revealed the abuse to anyone.
At some point he locked the minor in the hut he uses as his bedroom so she could not meet visitors for fear she could report him.
He ran out of luck when the victim narrated her rape ordeal to her cousin who had visited and found her locked in the hut.
The girl's mother had visited her relatives where she spent almost two months in September and October last year.
The man was charged with two counts of rape when he appeared before Hwange magistrate Collet Ncube.
Sentencing him, the magistrate said the rapist dad was worse than an animal.
"The accused replaced his wife with the complainant to fulfil his sexual desires. His behaviour was beastly and worse than an animal that doesn't choose which female to mate with," said the magistrate before slapping the rapist stepdad with 12 years for each count.
Out of the total, the magistrate suspended four years for five years on condition of good behaviour.
The man, who had been in custody since his arrest in January this year, said he did not know what got into him.
Memory Munsaka, the prosecutor, said the rape took place in September and November last year.
The rapist stepfather and the victim shared a bedroom hut in the absence of his wife.
"Between September 1, 2018 and October 31, the complainant was left in the custody of the accused as her mother went to Tsholotsho. One night in September he lifted her from the floor where she was sleeping and laid her on the bed where he removed her clothes and raped her once.
"He went on to rape her several times during the same month and October and would threaten to assault her if she told anyone," said the prosecutor.
The court was told that in November, the man followed the girl to the bush where she had gone to fetch firewood and forced her to lie on the ground before raping her.
The matter came to light in January when the girl's cousin visited and found her locked in the bedroom hut.
She narrated her rape ordeal and a report of rape was made.
The girl was examined at St Luke's Hospital.