CHIREDZI – A man from Makonye village under headman Mupapa, Chief Sengwe, is in trouble for allegedly raping his then 13-year-old niece and infecting her with syphilis in January 2016.
Alex Sithole appeared before Magistrate Judith Zuyu who heard that sometime in January last year, Sithole allegedly met the minor, who is related to his wife, and dragged her into the bush where he raped her once, gave her a dollar after the act and ordered her not to report the case.
In the second count, it is alleged that at an unknown date but in the same month, Sithole raped the girl and threatened her with a knife, ordering her not to report the case to the police.
In the third count, but again on an unknown date, Sithole raped the girl and threatened to kill her if she ever reported the case to anybody.
The matter came to light in January 2017 after the girl's aunt (Sithole's wife) noticed that her niece was not walking properly before taking her to Chomupani Clinic where the girl was diagnosed with syphilis.
In his defence, Sithole, who seemed to be confident at ease with the proceedings, refuted all the three counts and said he had consensual sex with the girl.
"I did not rape her, I was in love with her. She came to my house while my wife and children were at the fields and I asked her for sex and she closed her face with both hands while smiling. I assumed she had accepted and we went on to have sex," said Sithole.
Sithole also told the court that he himself had never been diagnosed with any Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) so he could not be the one who infected the girl.
However, Sharai Mationesa, a nurse who treated the girl, told the court that Syphilis was a long term infection so it was ordinary that the symptoms began to appear after one year of the alleged rape.
The case was later postponed to a later date for continuation of trial with Moreblessing Rusere standing for the State.local