A Domboshava man was last week sentenced to 80 years in prison for raping and infecting his then nine-year-old niece with HIV, while a traditional healer in Bindura was slapped with a 60-year jail term for raping his brother’s daughter.
The first case came to light when a teacher noticed a stench emanating from genital warts the girl had developed.
Bindura Regional Magistrate Mr William Bhila, who handled the matter, suspended 10 years of the sentence on condition that the 32-year-old rapist, whose name has been withheld to protect the victim, does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
Court records show that the girl lived with her grandmother and the abusive uncle following the death of her mother. The grandmother is visually-impaired and hard of hearing.
On an unknown date in 2011, the uncle instructed the girl to chase cattle that had invaded their garden. He followed her outside and raped her.
On another day, he got into the child’s blankets while she slept beside the grandmother and raped her.
On the third occasion, the rapist again took advantage of the senior citizen’s disabilities to rape the girl and repeated the abuse on another day.
In May this year, the girl’s teacher probed her on the odd smell she was producing. The two went to a toilet and the teacher noticed the girl had genital warts.
The nine-year-old revealed the abuse, leading to the uncle’s arrest.
She also tested HIV positive.
In the second case, a 52-year-old traditional healer began living with his then eight-year-old niece after her mother’s death in 2007.
He raped the child on three occasions while his two wives were working their maize fields.
The girl reported the abuse to her mother’s sister in 2011, but the aunt did not approach police fearing victimisation.
The child’s brother only made a police report in January 2014 soon after learning of the abuse.
Mr Bhila sentenced the traditional healer to 60 years’ imprisonment and suspended 10 years on condition he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
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