Marvelous Moyo, Gwanda Correspondent
TWO Gwanda men have each been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for raping a 12-year-old girl.
Melinkosi Ndlovu, 19, and Bhekimpilo Dube, 20, both of Colleen Bawn area pleaded not guilty to rape.
However, regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza convicted them due to overwhelming evidence.
They will each serve an effective four years imprisonment after the magistrate suspended three years of the sentence for five years on condition that they will not commit a similar offence within that period.
Prosecuting, Mncedisi Dube said the two men assaulted the girl and forced her to be intimate with one of them.
“On October 29, 2015 at around 6PM and at Oakley Block Resettlement, the complainant was walking along a path in a bushy area on her way from school.
“Complainant met Dube who emerged from the bush and started running after her,” said the prosecutor.
The prosecutor said Dube grabbed the minor’s arm and dragged her into a bush, where Ndlovu was waiting.
The duo force marched the girl to a nearby hill where they told her that she must be intimate with both of them but the complainant did not respond, the court heard.
Ndlovu, the prosecutor said, instructed Dube to fetch a switch while he held the girl.
“The two assaulted the complainant with a switch several times on her legs trying to force her to be intimate but she refused. Ndlovu then raped the complainant once,” the prosecutor said.
“While this was happening Dube was standing at a distance of about two metres watching.”
After raping the girl, the duo threatened to harm her if she told anyone about the incident.
The girl told her mother leading to the duo’s arrest.