The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 13, 1992 — A 52-year-old busi­ness­woman from Fi­l­abusi was yes­ter­day sen­tenced to seven years in jail by a Bu­l­awayo High Court judge for fa­tally as­sault­ing an eight-year-old girl who was de­serted by her par­ents and left in her cus­tody.

Grace Mafu pleaded not guilty to mur­der with con­struc­tive in­tent but Mr Jus­tice Muchechetere dis­missed Mafu’s ev­i­dence as con­tra­dic­tory and hard to be­lieve.

The judge ex­plained that although Mafu had ac­cused some vil­lagers of as­sault­ing the child, they were in fact the ones who had taken care of the girl af­ter the as­sault.

The judge noted that six months be­fore com­mit­ting the of­fence, Mafu had been con­victed of child abuse in a case in­volv­ing the girl.

The court heard that Mafu had been tak­ing care of the girl and her brother af­ter their par­ents, who had been her em­ploy­ees, dis­ap­peared.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions she as­saulted the girl re­sult­ing in her seek­ing refuge at neigh­bours’ homes. On Jan­uary 10 last year, Mafu as­saulted the girl re­sult­ing in her re­ceiv­ing se­vere in­juries.

She was rushed to hospi­tal af­ter some vil­lagers had re­ported the mat­ter to the po­lice.

She later died in hospi­tal. The court heard that there were ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances in that Mafu had taken care of the girl for seven years and had given her mouth-to-mouth re­sus­ci­ta­tion af­ter the as­sault.

Mr Josias Makowane pros­e­cuted and Mafu was de­fended by Mr Joseph James.

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