By Tonderai Saharo
MASVINGO: A 77 year-old man, who took advantage of his mourning niece to sexually abuse her while pretending to be comforting her over the death of her husband, has appeared in court facing rape charges.
Asamu Gwafa of Kwangwari Village in Mushagashe pleaded not guilty to rape when he appeared before Masvingo regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga.
He was remanded out of custody to 4 March on $500 bail and is being represented by Philip Shumba.
Prosecutor Liberty Hove told the court that, the woman, aged 31, was married and lived with her husband in Shurugwi.
In 2018, the woman husband died and Gwafa asked her to come and stay with him at his home in Mushagashe as there was no-one to look after her.
The niece agreed and moved in to stay with her uncle’s family.
However, on 5 June last year at around mid-morning and in the absence of Gwafa’s wife and other family members, the uncle called his niece to his bedroom and asked her to help him locate his bathing towel.
Court heard the niece located the towel and gave it to him and instead of taking the towel, Gwafa grabbed his niece and laid her on the bed and sexually abused her once without her consent.
After the sexual attack, Gwafa told his niece that he was comforting her over the loss of her husband and the sexual act was meant to help her relieve the stress of losing her husband.
Court was told that Gwafa also threatened his victim with death if ever she ever revealed her ordeal to any family member.
However, the woman could to come to terms with the abuse and reported the matter to the police leading to Gwafa’s arrest.