AN Inyathi man was yesterday sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping and impregnating his step granddaughter.
Obert Mpofu, 56, who was initially charged with raping two of his granddaughters aged 12 and 13, was lucky when one of the victims’ mother chose to support him in court resulting in the State dropping the second charge.
The court heard that he had turned his granddaughter into a sex slave for a year during which he paid her off with packs of Jiggies and sweets.
The granddaughter aged 13, a Grade Five pupil, fell pregnant when she was 12 and was taken in by Musasa Project where she divulged that she together with her cousin were being sexually abused at home.
Regional Magistrate Chrispen Mberewere rebuked Mpofu for turning the girls into his sex objects saying criminals like him were better off in prison.
“It’s common cause that the girl was abused and you were lucky as one of the mothers chose to defend you instead of supporting her own child. We are aware that a family meeting was held to discuss the abuse of these children and its clear to this court that you did it,” said magistrate Mberewere.
He said a medical report submitted as evidence before the court showed that the girl was sexually active and this was proof enough that the girl was raped numerous times.
“You are therefore sentenced to 20 years in prison of which three years are suspended on condition of good behaviour. The court condemns sexual abuse of children and it is our duty to curb the crime.”
When the girl gave her testimony in camera, she said Mpofu used to call her to his bedroom where he would rape her together with her cousin.
“He used to call me or my cousin and rape us one after another before giving us sweets and Jiggies. Sometimes he would rape me in my cousin’s presence. He made us promise to keep the abuses a secret after buying our silence with food,” she said.
The girl also said at one point, she was raped while her mother had gone to the district hospital to deliver.
Prosecuting Trust Muduma told the court that sometime in 2012, Mpofu used to go to a local beer hall and come back drunk. He said Mpofu would then call the girls to his bedroom to dance for him.
On an unknown date but from the period extending from January 2012 to July 2014, Mpofu had sex with the girls, one after the other.
The matter came to light when one of the girls told her stepfather who was helping her do homework that Mpofu was engaging in sex with them.
A family meeting was called and the girls revealed that Mpofu had been raping them. The matter was not reported to the police as it was settled at family level.
Mpofu ran out luck when police got an anonymous tip off and instituted investigations.
One of the girls was already pregnant and she told Musasa Project counsellors that her step grandfather had been raping them for some time.