Village head gets 5 years behind bars for attempted rape
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A village head, 55, from Matobo District in Matabeleland South has been slapped with a five-year jail term for attempting to rape his 16-year-old niece.
After failing in his bid, the old man attempted to commit suicide but failed again.
The traditional leader from Chief Malaba's area was convicted on his own plea of guilty to attempted rape charges when he appeared before Gwanda magistrate Mr Jimmy Ntonga.
He told the court that he did not know what was happening on the day in question as he was drunk.
He said he had proposed love to the girl who turned him down, which he could not accept.
While passing sentence, the magistrate said the village head deserved a custodial sentence as he had proved to be a danger to his own relatives.
The magistrate said he had considered that the headman was a first offender who had shown remorse.
However, the man would serve an effective three years after two years were suspended for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence within that period.
On 5 May at about 7am, he asked the juvenile girl to accompany him to his homestead to collect a parcel.
While on their way, he dragged her to the bush and told her he wanted to have sex with her.
He forced her to lie on the ground and covered her mouth with his hand so that she would not scream.
The girl wrestled him and foiled his attempt to rape her. The two then proceeded to the old manâ€™s homestead and he begged her not to reveal the matter to anyone.
The girl narrated her ordeal to her mother who informed other relatives.
Out of shame, the village head then attempted to take his own life by drinking a poisonous substance but was quickly rushed to hospital.
A report was made to the police leading to his arrest.
Mr Mncedisi Dube appeared for the State.
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