The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana, Hwange Correspondent
A MAN from Lupane stunned the court when he claimed that he slept with a 16-year-old at the behest of a traditional healer who had prescribed that this would result in the rapid increase in his herd of cattle.
The 29-year-old from Mangevula Village in Lupane who was facing a rape charge told Hwange regional magistrate, Mr Collet Ncube last week that he was coerced into sleeping with the girl and both agreed to the order.
“I do not admit to the charge levelled against me that I raped her.
“We were given herbs by a traditional healer named Thomas Sithole sometime in August 2018 with an instruction to have sexual intercourse and used a towel to wipe our genitals. I was supposed thereafter to use the towel to hit the cows so that they will bear many calves.
“I had sexual intercourse with complainant with her consent. My wife bumped on us soon after sex, we both fled,” he told a stunned court in his defence.
He further claimed that the traditional healer who is now reportedly late and the girl were paid $250 for the arrangement.
He was, however, convicted of incest and slapped with a 24-month jail term of which six months were conditionally suspended. In his judgment, Mr Ncube said he gave the benefit of doubt on the main charge of rape as there were indications that the girl consented.
However, the accused was found wanting as he had sexual intercourse within a prohibited degree of relationship.
“This is one case that demonstrates a need for caution to guard against false incrimination. I am of the view that proof on whether the complainant was not a consenting party was not satisfactorily attained. I will therefore give the accused a benefit of a doubt on the main charge of rape.
“However, accused cannot escape criminal liability as rightly pointed out by the State in their closing submissions and by virtue of his own admission later during the trial that he and complainant are first cousins.
“Complainant’s mother and accused’s father are siblings. Accordingly accused is found guilty of having sexual intercourse within a prohibited degree of relationship as defined in section 75 (2) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act,” said Mr Ncube.