Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A 35-YEAR-OLD Beitbridge man has been jailed for 15 years for raping a desperate job seeker whom he had offered overnight accommodation.
Emmanuel Mugaba of Madiginye suburb (formerly New Stands) is accused of sexually violating a 16-year-old juvenile he found seeking employment outside Beitbridge Border Post.
Mugaba pleaded not guilty to a rape charge but Beitbridge Regional Magistrate Mr Livard Philemon convicted him on the strength of overwhelming evidence. He will serve an effective 12 years in jail after three years of his 15-year term were conditionally suspended for five years. Prosecuting, Mr Jabulani Mberesi told the court that on November 10, 2019 at around 8PM, the girl arrived in Beitbridge from Mwenezi to seek employment.
He said she dropped off near the traffic circle which leads to Beitbridge Border Post and went to sit with some vendors selling soft drinks. The court further heard that at around 10PM, Mugaba arrived at the spot where she was seated and started talking to one of the women who were sitting close to the complainant. Mr Mberesi said after some discussions that the complainant did not follow, the woman held the girl by hand and told her to board a taxi with Mugaba on the understanding that she was to put up at the accused’s house with his wife.
The State said upon arrival at his house, Mugaba force marched the juvenile to his bedroom where he raped her three times through the night. Mr Mberesi said the complainant cried and attempted to resist but was overpowered by the accused who threatened to kill her. He said after committing the offence, the accused went into a deep slumber and the complainant escaped at around 5AM the following day.
She then went to the border post where she met an unknown man and narrated her ordeal who then escorted her to the police station where she reported the matter. Police then made a follow up and subsequently arrested Mugaba at his lodgings.