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by Brenda Zinyuke, Court Reporter 30/07/19

A 25-YEAR-OLD Johane Masowe eChishanu Bulawayo branch leader has been sentenced to an effective 12 years in jail for raping his fellow church mate. The man, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of the minor victim, had unprotected sexual intercourse with his 17-year-old church mate without her consent. However, the magistrate convicted and sentenced him to an effective 12 years in jail. Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said in June last year, the accused person phoned the complainant’s mother informing her that her daughter was supposed to come to his house and wash his garments. He said the accused person followed the minor into the bedroom and threw her onto a bed and raped her. The court heard that after committing the crime, the accused person ordered the minor to take a bath as there were blood stains left on the bed. Mr Manyiwa said after bathing, the minor went back home and told a neighbour that she had been raped by the accused person. Mr Manyiwa said the neighbour then told the girl’s mother what the minor had said about the rape and the subsequent pregnancy test. He said the neighbour told the victim’s mother that her child had not opened up to her as she thought no one would believe her as the accused person in the matter was a church leader.