Soldier convicted of bedding minor

HARARE - Police officers had a hard time tracking a soldier who was fleeing arrest over rape charges that they had to unleash sniffer dogs to apprehend him.

Seven Munetsi, 31, of Glen Norah B in Harare went into hiding after his housemaid had filed rape charges against him.

“After the accused person realised that police officers had put him on the wanted list, he fled (and), he was finally apprehended with the help of a sniffer dog called Tiger,” said the investigating officer.

“When we arrived at the scene of arrest, Munetsi came out holding a hoe and tried to strike us.”

Munetsi was sentenced to six months imprisonment wholly suspended on condition that he deposits a $500 fine.

“The court ought to consider that the accused person committed this offence out of ‘greed and not need’ considering that he was a married man entitled to conjugal rights,” said prosecutor Ressy Nyamombe during aggravation.

“Offences of this nature are on the rise and a deterrent sentence is called for to send a signal to like-mined individuals that our courts do not tolerate such conduct. The accused person exposed the juvenile to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.”

The complainant, 14, was from the same neighbourhood as Munetsi.

Nyamombe proved that sometime in October last year, Munetsi took advantage of his wife’s absence and entered a room in which the victim was sleeping.

Munetsi then lifted the complainant to his bedroom and forcibly removed her clothes before raping her.

The court heard that the juvenile cried for help but Munetsi threatened to assault her if she divulged the ordeal to anyone.

After that incident, Munetsi regularly forced himself on the juvenile whenever he wished.

On February 25, around midnight Munetsi went into the room where the minor was sleeping with two of his children.

He lifted the girl to his room and ordered her to strip naked but she refused and he forcibly did so.

The girl cried for help but no one came to her rescue since it was raining.

The following morning she went to the police station and made a formal report.

Although Munetsi was initially charged with rape Harare regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni convicted him of having sex with a minor after considering that circumstances reflected that both parties could have consented.

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