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Corpun file 25659 at www.corpun.com
Southern Eye, Zimbabwe, 21 July 2014
Boy to be lashed for rape
By Nelson Ndlovu
A 16-YEAR-OLD boy from Bulawayo's Nketa 9 high-density suburb was sentenced to receive five strokes of the cane by regional magistrate Crispen Mberewere after pleading guilty to raping an 11-year-old girl.
The juvenile was also given a wholly suspended three-year sentence for five years on condition he is not convicted of any offence involving sexual assault within that period.
In mitigation, the boy's lawyer Kudzai Magama pleaded with the court to take into account that he was young and a first offender and did not waste the court's time by pleading guilty. She also told the court that the accused was remorseful for committing the offence and pleaded with the court to be lenient in passing sentence.
Mberewere said he had taken into account the mitigatory factors, but pointed out that the offence the juvenile committed was very serious and there was need for a deterrent sentence.
According to the State outline, on February 28 at around 1:45pm, the girl was on her way home from school in the company of two friends in Figtree when they came across the boy and his friends seated on a culvert beside the road. The accused followed the complainant and her friends and asked for some wild fruits they were eating.
When the complainant was handing him the wild fruits, he grabbed her hand and detained her on the spot while her friends continued walking.
The boy then allegedly dragged the girl to a nearby maize field where he ordered her to lay on her back and raped her.
He threatened the girl with assault if she told anyone, but she informed her aunt after her mother had noticed some blood stains on her panties.
The matter was reported to police leading to the arrest of the boy.
Southern Eye. All Rights Reserved
Corpun file 25657 at www.corpun.com
Sunday News, Bulawayo, 26 July 2014
Juvenile rapist's sentence baffles villagers
By Lungile Tshuma
A TSHOLOTSHO juvenile who ripped open a four-year-old girl's private parts with an Okapi knife before raping her is to receive five strokes of the cane.
He had his five-year imprisonment sentence suspended on condition he does not commit any offence of a sexual nature during the same period.
Appearing before regional magistrate Mr Mark Dzira the 17-year-old from Dikili Line in Tsholotsho pleaded guilty to charges of rape and assault.
In passing his judgment Mr Dzira said: "The accused is going to receive moderate corporal punishment of five strokes to be administered at Bulawayo Prison by the designated prison officer.
"In addition, the accused is sentenced to five years imprisonment which is suspended for five years in account that the accused does not within this period commit any offence of a sexual nature."
The prosecutor, Mr Tinashe Dzipe, had earlier told the court that on June 11 this year at around 4pm, the juvenile chased after the complainant who was in the company of her brothers coming from school.
"The juvenile caught up with her and laid her on the ground. He tore her undergarment and used an okapi knife to rip the girl's private parts before raping her," said Mr Dzipe.
The councillor for Ward 19 in Tsholotsho, Alois Ndebele, said villagers were surprised that the juvenile was "set free".
"People are not happy that the boy has been released. Boys of his age are going to commit similar crimes knowing that they are not going get a harsh sentence," said Clr Ndebele.
He also indicated that the girl was now at school. Said Clr Ndebele: "The girl is now at school. She started going to school last week on Monday. I visited the girl together with her grandmother on Thursday, I saw her and she looked fine.
"Everyone is happy that she quickly recovered and we hope that such incidents won't happen again in our society."
The incident took place at a time when the Government is trying to curb rape through the National Action Plan Against Rape and Sexual Abuse. The action plan is part of strategies adopted by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Rape set up early this year to deal with the scourge.
From January to March of this year, 1 354 rape cases were reported with 946 of this total being girl child rape. An analysis of the 2013 statistics reveals that most offenders of child abuse are neighbours, uncles, cousins, fathers and stepfathers, and friends. Strangers feature to a much lesser extent than those who are already known to the child.
Statistical records obtained from the child welfare civic watchdog, Childline, confirm there has been a 14 percent increase in sexual abuse cases, a 30 percent increase in physical abuse, and a 31 percent increase in neglect cases in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.
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