Monday 8 May 2023


A 14-year-old boy who raped a nine-year-old Tsholotsho girl who made headlines for being seven months pregnant last year has been slapped with a three-year wholly suspended sentence.

The 14-year-old boy, whose name is withheld and is from Masekesa Line in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North Province, appeared for full trial before Bulawayo Regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza on Friday and pleaded guilty.

The young lad was represented by his lawyers Task Vhiki and Mary Nyika of Macharaga Law Chambers.

In mitigation, the boy’s lawyers said he has already endured enough punishment since his childhood has been swept away as he has become a father at the age of 14.

Moreover, the lawyers argued that since he has become a father at his age, that has affected him at school and tainted his reputation in the community.

The magistrate convicted and sentenced the boy to three years imprisonment, which were wholly suspended. In arriving at the sentence Mr Mabeza considered that the teenage boy and the victim are cousins.

The magistrate also said after the pair engaged in sex a child was born and at his age, the teenager has become a father.

Mr Mabeza also noted that the lad is young and cannot be thrown into jail where there are hardened criminals and as a result of that he handed him a wholly suspended sentence.

The victim and the boy are cousins and at a date not known to the prosecutor but sometime in February last year the minor and her two sisters who were aged eight and 14 at the time visited their relative and spent a night there.

The minor who was doing Grade Three slept with her sisters in the kitchen and the teenage boy also slept in the kitchen but alone. The court heard that during the night the boy woke up and sneaked into the minor’s blankets and raped her.

The minor did not reveal to anyone that she was raped by her cousin until her mother got suspicious after seeing her stomach bulging and took her to Tsholotsho District Hospital for a pregnancy test.

The girl tested positive and after examining her, it was discovered that she was seven months pregnant, the court heard.

After that, her mother reported the incident to the police. While she was at the police station, the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) police officer quizzed her to find out who could have impregnated her but she could not reveal the person behind her pregnancy.

The minor was taken to the Department of Social Welfare where she received counselling and was placed at Sanders Johns Centre for safety.

On November 14 last year, the victim gave birth.  A police officer interviewed her and she revealed that she was raped by her 14-year-old cousin. Chronicle


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