Man who raped teenage daughter set free

23 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
Man who raped teenage daughter set free


Mathew Masinge
HE raped his teenage daughter, in a moment of shame, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to NINETEEN years in jail.

His daughter was just 13, at the time he abused her, seven years ago.

In between his shameful act, and encounter with the arms of justice, Tirivashoma Chigwaja tried, but failed to kill himself by taking some poison.

Today, he is a free man.

His sentence was quashed by a High Court judge because of a procedural flaw in the way his trial was handled.

Justice Tawanda Chitapi set aside the conviction and sentence, which would have seen Chigwaja (54) of Chinhoyi, spending 19 years in jail.

Chigwaja had appealed to the High Court.

The judge ordered his immediate release from prison and a fresh trial.

In his findings, Justice Chitapi noted that although Chigwaja had pleaded guilty, there were procedural irregularities in the way his trial was handled.

The judge claimed the magistrate failed to follow procedure for trial entered by a guilty plea.

“The trial of the accused was disposed of by way of a guilty plea,” ruled Justice Chitapi.

“The regional magistrate then asked the accused whether the accused had understood the facts, and other questions, in the nature of extrapolating the essential element of rape.

“The proceedings did not comply with the provisions of s217 (2) as read with s 271(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act chapter 9:07.”

Justice Chitapi ordered a fresh trial.

“The proceedings, in case number CRB CHNR 112/14, be and are hereby set aside for gross procedural irregularity which cannot be condoned.

“The conviction and sentence imposed are set aside and the accused entitled to his immediate release.

“The Prosecutor General’s prerogative to prosecute the accused and, therefore, to institute fresh charges, remains open to him to exercise.

“In the event that a fresh prosecution is instituted, and the accused is convicted, the trial magistrate, in assessing an appropriate sentence, shall take into account the sentence already served by the accused up to the date of his release, as part of an already served portion of the new sentence which the magistrate may impose.”

The State had it that, sometime in 2015, at Nyamugomba Farm, Chigwaja forced entry into his 13-year-old daughter’s room, where he raped her once.

He allegedly told the teenager not to disclose the incident.

He threatened he would take poison, to kill himself, if she disclosed the issue.

The teenager later disclosed the rape to her brother and Chigwaja took poison, but survived.

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