Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A 35-year-old Beitbridge man has been jailed for 15 years for raping a desperate job seeker 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.
The man pleaded not guilty to a rape charge, but Beitbridge Regional Magistrate Livard Philemon convicted him on the strength of state evidence.
Mugaba was left with an effective 12 years to serve after three years of his 15-year term were conditionally suspended for five years.
Prosecuting, Jabulani Mberesi told the court that on November 10 , 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 around 10PM she saw the accused person arriving at the spot where she was seated.
The prosecutor said Mugaba then started talking to one of the women who was sitting close to the complainant.
Mberesi said after a while she saw the woman and the accused discussing something she did not properly get.
The woman later held the girl by hand and told her to board a taxi with Mugaba on the understanding that she was supposed to put up at the accused’s house with his wife.
The state said upon arriving at his house, Mugaba took the juvenile by force to his bedroom where he raped her three times throughout the night.
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 a stranger 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.