A 95-YEAR-OLD man has been acquitted of raping his neighbour’s two children aged six and four years and infecting them with a sexually transmitted disease. Kennias Zvidza Mazvihwa went into the Gweru Magistrates’ Court crawling as he is no longer able to walk unaided.
He denied rape, insisting he was no longer sexually active. Prosecutors had alleged that Mazvihwa bought the girls’ silence with sweets and jiggies.
Testifying, the children’s mother — who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children — said she used to send her children to Mazvihwa’s homestead to assist him with household chores since he lives alone.
“The accused is my neighbour and he’s now very old, so I used to send my children to his homestead so that they assist him to clean the yard and gather firewood. l didn’t know that he would do such an evil act to my kids,” she told court.
“Why I implicated him in the matter is because my children were infected with gonorrhoea. The accused was also tested and found to be infected with the same disease.”
She said her daughters told her the old man bought sweets and jiggies for them not to reveal the abuse.
But magistrate Morgan Nemadire was not pursuaded as he acquitted the old man. Nemadire pointed to inconsistencies between the mother’s testimony and facts presented by the prosecution.
She told court the children were raped between August and October 2015, when the state had provided a different time frame.
“The nature of the report doesn’t satisfy the court for the accused to be placed on his defence. Also the time frame, from August to October 2015, and considering the age of the victims their mother should have noticed that they were sexually abused.
“At the same time, the mother of the children admitted that sometimes she would leave her kids alone at home and considering the set-up of the compound they might have been sexually abused by someone else,” said Nemadire.
Mazvihwa said he was too old to engage in sexual intercourse and as such he could not have raped the children, whom he considers as his granddaughters.
“I didn’t rape her kids, I’m very old now to commit such a crime,” said Mazvihwa. “I’ve been married since 1946 and have never committed a single crime in my life. At my age I’ve passed the stage of engaging in sexual activities.”
Kelvin Guveya, prosecuting, said between June and October 2015, the two girls were raped by Mazvihwa.
He said they allegedly did not disclose the alleged abuse after he told them that if they did, he would not give them sweets and jiggies.
The matter, Guveya said, came to light when their mother noticed that one of her daughters – the six-year-old – had developed an STI when she was bathing her.
The court heard that the child refused to disclose what had happened to her.
“Her mother beat her up before she revealed that Mazvihwa had raped her. The mother examined the other victim and noticed that she was also infected with an STI,” said Guveya. chronicle