A teenager has been jailed 10 years for raping his neighbour’s 10-year-old daughter while she was in the fields guarding crops from birds.
Ashely Sibanda (19) of Lunyame Village in Filabusi pleaded not guilty to rape when he appeared before Gwanda magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira, but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.
He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and four years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube said Sibanda raped the juvenile on September 19 at around 8AM at Silalatshani Irrigation.
“The juvenile was at Silalatshani Irrigation guarding wheat and maize crops from birds when she was approached by Sibanda who asked for salt and match sticks. He went on to ask to have sexual intercourse with her but the juvenile refused.
“Around 2PM, Sibanda returned and found the juvenile sleeping under a tree. He raped her and a passerby heard the juvenile screaming. When Sibanda saw the passerby approaching he fled from the scene,” he said.
Mr Dube said the matter was reported to the police resulting in Sibanda’s arrest.
In his defence, Sibanda said he only went to the fields that the juvenile was guarding looking for match sticks and mealie meal and after she gave him he went away and did not go back.
“I went to the complainant’s fields looking for match sticks and mealie meal. After she gave me I returned to the fields I was guarding. She later came to my fields looking for vegetables. She returned in the afternoon looking for water and she also asked for some food that I had cooked.
“She asked me to collect her when I was going home since it was almost dark. However, I didn’t collect her as per her request and that was the last time I saw her. I was shocked when I was told that I had raped her,” he said.
In a statement she made in camera, the juvenile said Sibanda, who is a neighbour, raped her after she refused to have sexual intercourse with him and when she tried to scream he threatened to beat her up.