A 23-year-old Hwange man who raped an 11-year-old girl in 2014 was last week slapped with a 12-year jail term after being convicted of two counts of rape.
Fightwell Zulu of Chenge Village in Jambezi under Chief Shana, has been on the run after he raped the minor who cannot be named to protect her identity, twice.
Zulu appeared before Hwange regional magistrate Collet Ncube facing two counts of rape and unlawful entry. He was, however, acquitted of the unlawful entry charge, but convicted on two counts of rape. Three years of the sentence were conditionally suspended.
Zulu, through his lawyer Jabulo Ndlovu of Ndove, Museta LegalPractitioners, denied the charges, arguing the complainant was his girlfriend and had consented to the act.
The court heard that on January 2, 2014, at around 3pm, the complainant was sent by her grandmother to fetch some okra. On her way back, she saw Zulu hiding in the bush, and tried to run away. He gave chase and caught up with her before dragging her onto a dry river bed and raping her once.
She reported the matter to her grandmother. At around 3am, Zulu slipped into the complainant’s hut through an open window and raped her again. He threatened to kill her if she disclosed the ordeal to anyone.
The complainant reported the matter to her grandmother, who escorted her to the police where a report was filed. After catching wind that he was wanted by the police, Zulu went on the run until his arrest this year.
Tinomupeyi Mbiza appeared for the State.