By Audience Mutema
A 22-year-old Harare man has been jailed 18 years after he was Tuesday convicted for raping his 12 year-old mentally ill sister at the siblings’ Borrowdale home while his wife was pregnant.
The rape accused, whose identity is being protected in order to protect the victim, was convicted after a full trial by Harare magistrate Themba Kuwanda.
He will however serve 12 years effective after 6 years of his sentence were set aside conditionally.
The siblings share the same mother but were born of different fathers.
“The accused is complainant’s half-brother. Instead of living up to what is expected of him or a brother, that is safeguarding the interests of the complainant, he turned out to be the abuser himself,” said Kuwanda in passing sentence.
“Not only did he sexually abuse his own sister, but he caused her to lose most cherished virtue, that is her virginity. The medical affidavit as stated in the judgement shows that she is no longer a virgin.
“The complainant will find it difficult to come to terms with the sad reality that her own brother had canal knowledge of her. The accused knew of the condition of his own sister and took advantage of her. This tends to increase the real blameworthiness considerably.”
Prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu proved that the convict raped his sister on three different occasions in 2015.
On the first occasion, he followed her in a room where she was sweeping and removed her skirts.
Court heard he pushed her on the bed and raped her once without using protection.
On second count, the brother got into the victim’s room and found her sleeping.
He then threatened to kill her if she revealed anything to anyone after which he raped her. On the same day, he raped her again at around 5pm.
The matter came to light after the victim’s school friend saw her crying and informed their teacher.
She disclosed the abuse upon being interviewed.
The brother was subsequently arrested.
Court ruled all witnesses including the doctor who examined the victim and her teacher were credible.
“The doctor noted that she has what is called cerebral palsy which is associated with intellectual disability. The doctor said that due to this condition, she is not able to give an informed consent to sex.
“I’ll say it is the accused who had sex with her.”