John Murwira Mashonaland West Correspondent
THE 2017 legal year in Mashonaland West Province saw a high number of rape cases being dealt with by the courts, as provincial magistrates meted out harsh sentences in a bid to deter would-be offenders.
Cases ranged from lust-driven acts of rape to the bizarre, where some would use extreme force to cow their victims into submission while others took their quest for revenge to unbelievable levels.
Provincial magistrates tried to reach the threshold of sentences, with some offenders now serving sentences of between 10 and 30 years.
In one of the cases, a Zvimba man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping his mentally-ill niece twice.
Christopher Mutandagavi (63) of Mutandagavi Village under Chief Zvimba will serve 17 years after Chinhoyi regional magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo suspended three years on condition of good behaviour.
The magistrate also considered Mutandagavi’s age and that he did not waste the court’s time.
In an act of revenge, a Raffingora man forced a woman who had accused him of stealing from their homestead to sexually stimulate him orally.
Matthew Denis (29) of Mukuyu Farm in Raffingora was accordingly found guilty of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Denis had been accused of stealing 500kg of maize, a bar of soap, cooking oil and a cellphone, among other things.
He was briefly detained and interrogated by the police before being released, setting in motion his revenge bid.
A miffed Denis went to the woman’s homestead and declared his intention to rape her for three consecutive days before dragging her to a secluded place at knife point. After reaping the woman’s undergarment using the knife, Denis was told that she was HIV positive and still driven by passion for revenge, he opted for oral stimulation instead.
The process was repeated thrice and on the forth, he forced her to swallow the semen in an ordeal that lasted for more than four hours.
Still not content with the extent of his actions, Denis dragged her to a nearby dam, where he wanted to drown her.
It was only along the way when they ironically met the woman’s husband and Denis ran away.
In another bizarre incident, a Zvimba man is on the run after being found being intimate with a dog in the family kitchen.
In another story from the province, nothing could have prepared a Chegutu family for the death of their 13-year-old son, who committed suicide by taking an unknown substance after failing his Grade 7 exams.
The boy got 26 points and could not face his mother who had threatened to assault him if he failed.
The boy took the threats seriously and committed suicide.
He was found wreathing in pain while frothing in the mouth by the road side by a passer-by, who took him to Chegutu District Hospital, where he later died.
Mashonaland West Province in particular and the whole country in general was thrown into mourning when a King Lion bus veered off the road and flew into a ditch before hitting a tree, killing 43 passengers.
Speeding was found to have caused the accident in what has come to be known as the Nyamakate Bus Disaster.
A cleansing ceremony was conducted at the disaster area where churches, villagers, Government, traditional leaders and ritualists gathered.
The Marongora Pass, commonly known as Wafa Wafa in the Zambezi Escarpment continues to claim lives, with hardly a week passing without a haulage truck failing to negotiate the hair-pin curves and falling over into the gorge.
Work on the dualisation of the road is expected to begin this year in a development which will markedly reduce accidents and improve the state of the highway.