2 Soldiers Takudzwa Gwai, Tatenda Machaka Jailed for RAPE. 2 soldiers were on Friday slapped with a combined 25 years in jail after being convicted of raping a mentally retarded 16-year-old-girl.
Takudzwa Gwai (22) and Tatenda Machaka (23), one of whom is HIV positive, were based at 4.2 Infantry Battalion in Gutu prior to the offence.
The two had pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared before Chitungwiza regional magistrate Estere Chivasa but were convicted after a fully contested trial.
Unlike Machaka, Gwai was convicted of rape and sentenced to 15 years in prison of which three years were suspended on condition of good behaviour, leaving him with a 12-year effective jail term.
Machaka was convicted of attempted rape and was slapped with a 10-year jail term of which three years were suspended, leaving him with an effective seven-year jail term.
In passing the sentence, Chivasa said it was sad that the two, as custodians of peace, were taking advantage of innocent civilians such as the girl whose future they had destroyed by taking away her virginity and subjecting her to the possibility of contracting HIV or pregnancy.
“Cases of this nature where people are raping mentally challenged girls are on the increase because the assumption is that because of their condition, the crimes will go unnoticed,” Chivasa said while emphasising the importance of giving perpetrators deterrent sentences.
“The court cannot prove that you actually penetrated the complainant, but it is clear that you tried to have sexual intercourse with her and in that process, you could have transmitted the virus to her.
“You did not take heed that she was trying in vain to stop you from destroying her virginity, something which where I come from, is a value that women take pride in.”
The court heard that on July 27, Machaka and Gwai went to the girl’s place of residence and approached her while she was seated outside the house. They instructed her to follow them and she complied.
The three went to Gwai’s place and on arrival, they entered the spare bedroom which Machaka locked from inside while in the company of the teenager.
He tried to have sexual intercourse with her, but failed and after a short while, Gwai entered the same room and raped the girl.