Family holds girl (16) hostage as male members take turns to rape her; culprit jailed 17 years

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By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent

A 43-year-old Kadoma man has been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a rural girl on the false promise of a job in the city.

Dananayi Mutero of Government Farm, Battlefields in Kadoma was facing two counts— rape and kidnapping— when he appeared before Kadoma Regional Magistrate, Sheila Nazombe, who slapped him with 15 years and three years for rape and kidnapping, respectively.

On count one, the magistrate suspended four of the 15-year sentence and set aside one year of the three-year jail term for kidnapping.

Mutero will, therefore, effectively serve 13 years behind bars.

State case, led by prosecutor Tendai Tapi, was that on an unknown date in 2022 accused person went to complainant’s homestead in Gokwe and lured her promising to give her a job at his supposed businesses in Kadoma.

Court heard complainant, who is 16 years old, accepted the offer and accompanied Mutero to Kadoma.

Upon arrival in Kadoma and during the night, accused person and his wife forcibly handed over complainant to their nephew, Newman Mutero, who locked her in his bedroom and raped her.

On an unknown date, while complainant and the rest of the family were working in the fields, Dananayi Mutero instructed her to go home and prepare food.

Accused person followed the minor and found her in one of the rooms before sexually assaulting her. He threatened to harm her if she disclosed the abuses.

Court heard the girl’s mother had contacted Dananayi Mutero enquiring on girl’s whereabouts, but he lied the minor was likely in Harare.

On December 19, 2022, complainant managed to escape and sought employment at a homestead in a neighbouring village, where she contacted her mother back in Gokwe.

It was further heard the victim’s mom travelled to Kadoma where she was united with her daughter, who later narrated her ordeal in the hands of Dananayi, his wife and nephew Newman, who is on the run.

The matter was reported to police, leading to Dananayi’s arrest.