Judge blasts magistrate for sending paedophile to school
A BULAWAYO High Court judge, Justice Francis Bere, has castigated a Zvishavane magistrate for sending a convicted pervert to do community service at a primary school.
Justice Bere said sending the convicted pervert to the school was putting the safety of school girls at risk.
In a review, Justice Bere confirmed a 350hour community service sentence given to a 20-year-old man from Zvishavane who was convicted of having sexual intercourse with a Grade Seven pupil (13) and indecently assaulting another 15–year-old girl.
The judge said the magistrate, Mr Shepherd Munjanja, rightly convicted and sentenced the accused but erred in the convict’s community service placement.
“The magistrate should be wary of the concerns being raised in reference to sexual abuse of minors. This accused person has been abusing minors and ordering him to do community work at a school might result in more young girls being sexually abused,” he said.
The accused who cannot be named to protect the identity of the two minors pleaded guilty to one count of having sexual intercourse with a young person and another count of indecent assault.
Mr Munjanja sentenced him to 15 months in prison for both counts of which five months were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
The remaining 10 months were suspended on condition the accused completes 350 hours of community service at Nil Primary School in Zvishavane.
Prosecuting, Ms Sheila Mupindu told the court that on count one, the accused was in a relationship with the Grade Seven pupil.
“On August 26 the complainant’s mother left home going for a funeral and left the complainant alone with their tenants. At around 7PM the complainant left home and proceeded to the accused’s house where they had consensual sexual intercourse,” she said.
The court heard that the complainant’s mother returned and learnt that her daughter had not slept home the previous night.
The complainant, Ms Mupindu said, lied to her mother that she had slept at her friend’s house before the mother reported the matter to the police.
“On count two, the accused was in a relationship with a 15–year-old girl who is doing Form Three at a private college in Zvishavane. From November last year to August the accused would take the complainant for a ride in his car where he would fondle her breasts,” the court heard.
Sometime in August, the complainant’s uncle saw her walking with the accused whilst holding hands and reported the matter to her father.
“On August 19 the complainant’s father reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the accused person,” said Ms Mupindu. — @wynnezane
Justice Francis Bere