Three Norton men who kidnapped a 14-year-old girl before taking turns to rape her were slapped with a 58-year sentence yesterday
Knowledge Mpame, 28, Lloyd Sibanda, 22, and Foxen Mukozho, 29, who had been on the run since 2013, were finally brought to book.
Mpame, Sibanda and Mukozho were convicted of rape and kidnapping by Harare regional magistrate Themba Kuwanda.
Mpame was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment before five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour, while Sibanda and Mukozho got 19 years each, before six years were suspended.
Mpame got a bigger chunk of the sentence because he was HIV-positive at the time.
“The accused persons started their criminal career at the deep end. They committed the crime of kidnapping to perpetuate rape,” prosecutor Rufaro Mhandu said.
“What is most aggravating is the fact that they restricted the victim’s freedom to an extent that she was not able to relieve herself the whole night.”
Mhandu proved that on September 25, 2012 the complainant left her home and met Admire Mhiripiri. They walked together to Darwendale Dam Fisheries to look for her ex-boyfriend.
The court heard that Mhiripiri proposed love to the complainant but was turned down.
When they arrived at Hunyani Boating Club, Mpame and Sibanda were present and the complainant asked for water from them.
Mpame then told the juvenile that he stayed with her ex-boyfriend whom he claimed had travelled at that moment.
The two began walking towards Mpame’s house and he also proposed love to the juvenile but she refused.
When they arrived at the house, Mpame suggested that the juvenile wait for her ex-boyfriend inside since there were ants outside.
Mpame got into the house after 10 minutes and told the victim that screaming would not help her because his house was isolated from other homes.
He then wore a condom and raped her.
After the act, Mpame left the room and the girl tried to open the door to escape but found that it had been locked from outside.
Sibanda then came into the room after a few minutes and did not communicate with girl and raped her.
The court heard that when it was Mukozho’s turn to rape the girl, she tried to assault him but was overpowered. She was subsequently sexually violated.
The complainant was locked in the room for the rest of that night, only to be released the following morning.
She was escorted by Mhiripiri and met Hungwe who took her to her parents.
The complainant revealed the incident to her parents, before reporting the rape to the police.