Thandeka Moyo and Patience Mutsiwi Chronicle Reporters
TWO men, one in Bulawayo and another in Gweru, who robbed and raped women, have been sentenced to a total of 108 years in jail.
Throwing the book at the rapists, magistrates said they were monsters who deserve to rot in jail.
The Bulawayo man, a vagrant, was slapped with a 55-year sentence while the Gweru man was sentenced to 53 years in prison.
Tapiwa Matundu used a catapult to incapacitate his six victims in a three-week crime spree along a bushy area connecting Cowdray Park and Ngozi Mine in Bulawayo.
He raped three of the women and kidnapped one whom he raped for an entire night under a tree.
Matundu pleaded guilty to three counts of rape, three of robbery and one of kidnapping.
Passing sentence yesterday, regional magistrate Chrispen Mberewere said Matundu and like minded people should learn than crime does not pay.
“You raped and robbed women who were no longer secure about using that bush as you had turned it into a base for your criminal activities. You robbed them of cheap Nokia X2 phones but because you used violence and forced yourself on them, you deserve a stiff penalty,” said magistrate Mberewere.
He said Matundu’s sentence would be good news to women and girls whose future is secured with each rapist that is incarcerated.
“All three counts of robbery were treated as one for purposes of sentence. You’re sentenced to 10 years of which 2 years are suspended for 5 years on condition of good behaviour,” Magistrate Mberewere said.
He sentenced Matundu to 20 years for raping his 18-old-year old victim in the first instance.
“Additionally, you’re sentenced to 15 years for raping the same woman twice as you detained her under a tree for a night,” said Mberewere.
Matundu will also spend 10 years in jail for kidnapping the girl.
“Effectively you will spend 45 years in jail.”
Prosecuting, Trust Muduma told the court that Matundu met the 18-year-old woman on February 22 and ordered her to stop.
“The woman refused and Matundu shot her on the hand with his catapult. He dragged her into the bush and robbed her,” said Muduma.
“He later raped her once and detained her for the night. He ordered the woman to undress and sleep under a tree and raped her twice during the night before releasing her.”
Muduma added that Matundu pounced on his next victim and robbed her of a cellphone.
“He went on to rape the woman once and fled. Police recovered the stolen phones when they arrested Matundu.”
In Gweru, Martin Mabvumba, 31, of Mkoba 14 preyed on female travellers between Gweru, Kwekwe and Shurugwi. His reign of terror lasted two weeks.
Mabvumba feigned insanity before sentencing.
He threw a chair at Gweru regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire and shouted obscenities before appearing confused.
Unfazed, Nemadire ordered police officers to arrest Mabvumba for disorderly conduct before instructing prison officers to remove him from the court.
He convicted Mabvumba of five counts of robbery and one count of rape and sentenced him in absentia.
The magistrate suspended 10 years on condition of good behaviour leaving Mabvumba with an effective 43 years to serve.
He said Mabvumba was an inherently wicked man and society was better off with him behind bars.
“The courts need to make an emphatic statement against people who behave like animals, going around raping and robbing willy-nilly,” said Nemadire.
Prosecuting, Kelvin Guveya told the court that on July 20 last year, Mabvumba, travelling from Kwekwe to Gweru, gave a lift to the first female complainant.
“Just after the Gweru-Kwekwe tollgate, he turned right into a dust road, produced a knife and threatened to kill the complainant. He robbed her of a cellphone and $20. Mabvumba sped off leaving the complainant in the bush,” said Guveya.
The court heard how he used the same modus operandi to rob five more women during the same month.
He raped one of the complainants and threw her bags out of the window.
One of the complainants, the court heard, fought him forcing him to drive off with the woman still hitting him in the vehicle.
“Mabvumba tried to lock the car doors as he drove at high speed but the complainant managed to open one of the doors and jumped out, leaving behind her handbag with a Call Touch tablet and clothes,” said Guveya.
The woman noted the car’s registration number and reported the attack to the police.
Police eventually located the vehicle being driven by Mabvumba’s nephew in Gweru.
They arrested Mabvumba and his victims positively identified him. He robbed his victims of $1,483 and $902 was recovered.