A BULAWAYO mother of three faces jail after being convicted Monday of deliberately infecting her husband with HIV.
Samukelisiwe Mlilo, 34, pleaded not guilty but was convicted by regional magistrate, Owen Tagu, who remanded her out of custody to July 10 for sentencing.
Prosecutors said Mlilo became aware of her HIV positive status on August 4, 2009, but continued to have unprotected sex with her husband who only realised she was infected with the virus after accidentally stumbling upon her medical card in the wardrobe in November 2009.
But the court also heard that the husband had not undergone tests to establish his HIV status before marrying Mlilo.
The couple divorced in 2010 with Mlilo accusing her husband of physically abusing her. Following the divorce the husband went for an HIV test and filed a report with the police after testing positive.
The magistrate acknowledged that this was a “test case” but ruled that prosecutors had managed to prove that Mlilo failed to disclose her HIV status to her husband.
“The State proved that you knew that you were HIV positive but you did not disclose your status to your ex-husband until he bumped into your medical card on 18 November the same year and then he stopped being intimate with you,” Tagu said.
“Your guilt has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt and accordingly you are found guilty.”
Mlilo pleaded with the court for leniency saying she had committed the offence through ignorance. She also said she was the sole bread-winner for her family adding her parents and children, the youngest of whom is only 12 months old, all depended on her for their livelihoods.
Prosecutor, Tinashe Dzipe, said there was little or no precedence regarding such cases and urged the magistrate to seek guidacne from High Court on sentencing.
“The intentions of the law makers were to curtail the pandemic especially by people who engage in reckless sexual encounters,” he said.
“The court is urged to take cognisance of the fact that before the complainant got into this marriage he never tested.
“The State persuades the court to at least adopt a rehabilitative approach in passing sentence.”