Businessman in court for rape Sitholokuhle Nyathi was convicted of two counts of aggravated indecent assault by Gweru regional magistrate Mr Christopher Maturure.

Court Correspondent 

The trial of businessman Ishmael Matyenyika who allegedly started raping his sister-in-law in 2007 and later forced her to abort twice, opened in Harare this week.

After Matyenyika allegedly committed the crime,  the two began a 10-year relationship during which the complainant fell pregnant three times.

Matyenyika (47) appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Themba Kuwanda charged with two counts of rape and aggravated indecent assault.

The State is alleging that sometime in 2007 at around 7am the complainant, who was still a teenager, visited Matyenyika’s residence while on school holiday. 

On one of the days when she was on the visit, the complainant’s sister and wife to Matyenyika went to pick up her children from school, leaving the accused and the complainant at home. 

Matyenyika allegedly invited the complainant into his bedroom where he told her that she was now his new wife given to him by her parents. 

He then went on to force the complainant to perform oral sex and only released her when his wife had come back home.

This allegedly happened on several occasions until 2011 and the complainant did not reveal this to anyone.

On the second charge, State alleges that sometime in 2011 at the complainant’s residence in Waterfalls, an aunt asked the victim to take some food to Matyenyika who was in his room. 

When she entered the room Matyenyika allegedly raped her and this continued till in 2014 but the complainant initially did not disclose this to anyone. 

When she fell pregnant in the same year, she disclosed the abuse to her sister’s friend who advised her to take some tablets to terminate the pregnancy. The court heard in 2016 ,complainant started working for Matyenyika at his restaurant and he would take the complainant to different lodges and hotels where he would sexually abuse her.

In 2018, the complainant fell pregnant again and Matyenyika forced her to have an abortion. In 2022, the complainant became pregnant again as a result of rape this time she chose not abort and she gave birth to a baby who was adopted by the Department of Social Welfare before being transferred to the care of a foster parent.

After the birth of the child, the complainant later narrated her story to her aunt who tried to resolve the issue before she reported Matyenyika to police.

However, Matyenyika in his defence denied both charges arguing that he had been in a romantic relationship with the complainant since 2020. He said their affair turned sour this year after he discovered that the complainant was having another affair with a woman (lesbianism).

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