NGO worker charged with raping deaf, dumb girl

MASVINGO - A civil society worker has appeared in court for allegedly raping a deaf and dumb teenage girl at a local lodge.

Jacob Tivenga, 48, an employee of a Harare-based HIV/Aids non-governmental organisation (NGO), Thamaso, was allegedly  given away when the girl screamed while he was raping her, attracting the attention of lodge staff who quickly alerted the police.

Tivenga appeared before provincial magistrate Esther Muremba facing two counts of raping the 18-year-old deaf and dumb girl from Zaka.

The girl, who cannot be named, is a student at King George College of the disabled in Bulawayo.
 Speaking in sign language before a translator, she told the court she was raped by Tivenga after turning down his love proposal.

Prosecutor Rodrick Chipembere told the court that on January 9, this year, Tivenga lured the girl to Mudota Downtown Lodges in the city after she had arrived from Gweru. He allegedly lied to the girl that he wanted to collect some maize seed.

It is alleged Tivenga had been communicating with the girl on her mobile phone through short text messages, and had proposed love to her.

The girl said she gave him her number last year when visited their college and delivered an HIV/Aids lecture.

The State also heard that on arrival at the lodge, Tivenga allegedly booked a room and lured the girl inside.

He allegedly forced himself on the girl and raped her twice leading the girl to unexpectedly scream,
allegedly out of pain from the encounter.

The staff alerted the police who arrested Tivenga and discovered the girl was deaf and dumb when they interrogated her.

She allegedly started using sign language and they were forced to look for an interpreter.

Police discovered used condoms, stained with blood scattered all over the floor in his room.

Tivenga was remanded out of custody to February 10. - Godfrey Mtimba

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