Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A robber who broke into a tuckshop where the female shopkeeper was sleeping and stole all the goods before raping her twice at knife point, was yesterday sentenced to an effective 19 years in jail.
Valentine Chikambura (20) connived with his friend Maka Bhiriyadhi, who is on the run, proceeded to the tuckshop in the early hours of August 5, while armed with a knife and metal bar and broke the door to gain entry.
They looted goods, including 44 bath soaps, 40 litres cooking oil, 10 kilogrammes rice, two boxes of washing powder, pampers, 12 litres of Mazoe orange crush, powdered milk, fresh milk and soft drinks.
Chikambura later returned alone after some few minutes, still armed and raped the woman twice and went away. He was apprehended when he came back again for a third time.
The magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo convicted Chikambura of three counts of rape and robbery after a full trial. He sentenced him to 24 years in prison before setting aside five years on condition of good behaviour.
In passing the sentence, Mr Makomo said he had been lenient with Chikambura because of his age, adding that if he was above 21, he would have sent him to prison for a lengthy period.
“The society must be protected from people like you hence you deserve to be locked away. You committed a serious offence and the complainant is going to be traumatised for the rest of her life.
“Therefore a deterrent sentence needs to be passed so that a clear message is sent out there that crime does not pay,” he said. The prosecutor Mrs Valery Ngoma proved that on August 5, the complainant, who works as a shopkeeper, closed the tuckshop and slept inside.
Just after midnight, Chikambura and Bhiriyadhi broke into the tuckshop and when the complainant woke up, Chikambura produced a knife and threatened to stab her. They ordered her to cover her face with a blanket and not to scream. They looted some groceries which they packed in the bags they had brought with them.
As the complainant was about to rush outside for help, she was surprised to see Chikambura on the door armed with a knife and a hammer.
He again withdrew the knife and ordered the complainant to get back inside and remain quiet. He then raped the woman after gagging her. As he was raping her, Chikambura was holding the knife threatening to stab her if she resisted.
After the rape, Chikambura fell asleep beside the complainant with the knife still in his hand. Thinking that he had fallen asleep, the woman tried to run away, but Chikambura woke up and ordered the woman to get back to sleep.
He then raped her for the second time and left. After he had left, the complainant ran out of the tuckshop and rushed to her grandmother’s house nearby and informed her of what had happened.
The grandmother took her back to her employer’s house to inform her and while they were narrating the incident to the employer, they heard some footsteps and when they went to investigate, they saw Chikambura trying to open the tuckshop door. He was then apprehended and taken to the police.