ZIMBABWE – A youthful man from Mawuwini village in Nkayi shocked villagers in the district when he raped an 83-year-old widow he met on her way home from Nkayi Business Centre.
Sikhumbuzo Gumede (18), yesterday pleaded guilty to rape as defined in Section 65 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 before acting Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Godwin Sengweni.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison of which five years were conditionally suspended for five years. Asked why he committed the offence, Gumede said he just felt like doing it and then raped her.
He said he did not understand why he did it. In passing sentence, the magistrate said he had taken into account that Gumede is a youthful first offender who pleaded guilty to the charge and did not waste the court’s time.
“What aggravates your actions is that you raped an 83-year-old woman and subjected her to a horrific experience. The court, however, will suspend a portion of the sentence to allow you a chance to live a crime free life after you are released from prison,” said Mr Sengweni.
Presenting the State case, the prosecutor, Mr Blessing Kudhlande said on 4 July this year in the afternoon, the complainant was coming from Nkayi Business Centre going to her homestead.
She met Gumede along the way and he offered her a 2kg packet of sugar but she refused to take it. While in the bush, Gumede blocked her way and ordered her to lie down. She picked up a log and tried to defend herself but he overpowered her. They wrestled and she lost balance and fell down and while she was down Gumede pulled her skirt up and raped her once.
She screamed for help and Gumede threatened to kill her but she continued screaming, telling him that he would rather kill her and he stopped what he was doing.
Gumede then saw another villager approaching and fled from the scene. The complainant then related her ordeal to the other villager and he rushed and informed yet another villager that escorted the complainant to Nkayi Police Station where a report was lodged, leading to Gumede’s arrest.
Appearing before another court, a Pumula South man, who raped his friend’s four-year-old daughter was jailed for 20 years. Marvellous Nyathi (26), of Number 22479 Pumula South had pleaded not guilty to rape but was convicted by Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Mark Dzira.
In mitigation, Nyathi told the court that he was an ill person although he did not disclose the nature of the disease he was suffering from. In passing sentence Mr Dzira noted that Nyathi was a family friend and stood in a protective relationship to the complainant.
“Cases of rape are on the rise and there is a need to pass deterrent sentences. You raped the complainant out of cruelty because there is nothing attractive about her since she is just a minor who still needs guidance and can easily be influenced to do wrong things like what you did.
“A clear message must be sent that rape does not pay,” said. Prosecuting, Mr Goodluck Katenaire said on 23 April this year, at about 10am, Nyathi visited the complainant’s mother.
He left the house at around midday and as he got out of the house, he saw the child playing and called her into the toilet and closed the door. The mother came out of the house looking for the child and eventually opened the toilet door and found Nyathi on top of the child. She pulled him off the child and later reported the matter to the police, leading to his arrest.