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A DETE grandmother, 63, has been dragged to court for allegedly giving her granddaughter to a rapist in exchange for beer.
The girl was 13 years when her grandmother allegedly locked her in the same room with the rapist at night in 2013. She has since dropped out of school, the court heard.
Concillia Murapha of Songwe area in Dete was charged with rape alongside Bhekimpilo Mvubu.
The duo pleaded not guilty when they appeared before Hwange regional magistrate, Dambudzo Malunga, on Thursday.
However, gran Murapha was freed after the victim later changed her statement in court to exonerate her.
She was acquitted after the girl’s mother – who turned out to have been the rapist-Mvubu’s girlfriend – also testified that she was not involved.
Mvubu, 36, also from Songwe area was slapped with a 15-year jail term but will serve an effective 12 years after the magistrate suspended three years on conditions.
In denying the charges he said: “I was not even in the village at that time as I was contracted by Zesa in Hwange.”
The magistrate however lambasted him for lying about his involvement with the girl’s mother and grandmother.
Prosecuting, Bheki Tshabalala said on a date not clarified but in 2013, gran Murapha, who was Mvubu’s friend, requested that he buys her beer and offered her granddaughter as a reward.
“On a date not known to the prosecutor but in 2013, Murapha requested Mvubu to buy her beer so she could assist him have sex with her granddaughter.
Child locked up with rapist
“At night on the same day, she locked the victim and Mvubu in a hut and went away,” said Tshabalala.
While in the hut, the court heard, Mvubu forcibly undressed the girl and raped her.
“The girl screamed because of pain and he closed her mouth with his palm,” the court was told.
After raping the girl, Mvubu kicked the locked door open and disappeared into the night.
The girl did not tell anyone about the rape but escaped from her grandmother’s homestead and started staying with some friends.
After some time, she confided in a female teacher at school as she implicated her grandmother.
The teacher then invited the girl’s mother and told her about the matter before reporting to the police.
Taking the witness’ stand, the girl, who now has a one-year-old baby with another man, exonerated her grandmother saying she was not at home when the incident occurred despite the fact that she had locked her in the same room with the rapist.
“My grandmother was not there. She had gone for a beer drink.
“When I went to sleep with my young brother I didn’t know there was someone in our room and I only noticed when he raped me,” she said referring to Mvubu.
The girl’s mother (name withheld) also testified and told the court that she could tell that her daughter’s behaviour had changed but could not establish the cause until she revealed to her teachers.
During cross examination, the mother denied being in love with Mvubu, saying he was a long-time friend as they grew up together. source-newzimbabwe