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A MARRIED HIV-positive man from Plumtr ee has been sentenced to 40 years in jail for raping his maid 19 times at knife point over 13 days, on some occasions as his daughter (2) watched.
A seemingly dazed Rudolph Chirape (30), of Dingumuzi suburb, protested that the sentence was too harsh.
“Your honour, 40 years is too much. I raped her only 11 times, not 19,” he said, drawing laughter from the gallery.
The court heard that he impregnated the maid (20). The victim said she suspected that she recently suffered a miscarriage because she bled heavily from her private parts.
A medical report could not be produced in court to determine whether Chirape infected the woman with HIV or if she had miscarried.
Chirape, a father of three, pleaded guilty to rape when he appeared before Bulawayo Magistrate Mr Chrispen Mberewere.
The court treated 18 of the rape incidents as one for purposes of sentencing.
Mr Mberewere sentenced Chirape 20 years for the first count. He said the first assault is a serious offence as it traumatises and stresses the victim.
He added another 20 years for the other 18 counts.
Mr Mberewere said Chirape will serve an effective 30 years in prison after he suspended 10 years for five years.
“Women are not sex objects; they are human beings who know when and with whom to have sex. It is my duty to remove one more sex pest like you from our society and this will make women feel secure,” he said.
“Personally, l don’t even feel like suspending 10 years but l will follow the law and that is the reason l suspended 10 years.”
He said Chirape should go to prison and feel the pain that was felt by the victim before even thinking of appealing against his judgment.Mr Mberewere said Chirape was a heartless man who abused his little daughter who was crying excessively when he was busy raping an innocent woman.
Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said on June 8, this year around 6AM Chirape ordered the domestic worker to accompany him to clean a new house at Dingumuzi suburb.
Mr Manyiwa said the victim took Chirape’s daughter and they went to the new house.
“While inside, Chirape ordered her to put the baby down, he then grabbed the woman’s right hand pulling her down onto the floor. She tried to fight but the accused produced a knife and threatened to kill her. He then raped her once,” he said.
The court heard Chirape threatened to kill the woman if she told anyone about the sex attack.
On June 9 around 7AM when Chirape’s wife had left for work, he ordered the victim to come into his bedroom where he raped her at knife point. Mr Manyiwa said on June 10 and 11 Chirape again raped the woman at knife point.
On June 15, Chirape sexually assaulted her once more and threatened to harm her if she told anyone.
“On June 21, around 7AM, the accused came in the house from shops. He entered the kitchen and lifted the woman up and went to his bedroom.
He raped her while holding a knife to her throat. While this was happening the accused’s baby was watching and crying,” said Mr Manyiwa.
The court heard that on June 25, the maid told Chirape that she suspected that she was pregnant. The accused ordered her to drink a washing powder to terminate the pregnancy but she refused.
The prosecutor said the complainant remained silent fearing for her life but on June 27, she gathered courage and phoned her cousin informing her about the issue.
The court heard that they reported the matter to the police who arrested Chirape.
“The complainant was sent to Plumtree District hospital where she was medically examined and a medical report was compiled. It was also confirmed that she was pregnant,” said Mr Manyiwa. — By Cynthia Dube. source-newsday