Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A 33-year-old man was last week sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl, who had turned down his love proposal.
Nelson Chipani followed the complainant as she was walking down the road and proposed love to her, but she told him that she was too young to have a boyfriend. He later waylaid the girl in a bushy area and tried to rape her, but she was brave enough to kick him on his privates and freed herself.
Chipani was convicted by magistrate Ms Vicky Mashamba after a full trial due to overwhelming evidence. Ms Mashamba sentenced him to 48 months in prison before setting aside 12 months on condition of good behaviour.
She then effected the remaining 36 months. In aggravation, prosecutor Ms Patience Chimusaru, urged the court to impose a custodial sentence, which she said would meet the justice of the offence. She said if there were no passers-by, who rushed to the scene, Chipani could have succeeded in raping the minor.
“Your Worship, cases of rape are on the increase, therefore, a short and sharp sentence would meet the justice of this offence, which will also send a clear message to would-be-offenders,” said Ms Chimusaru.
“The court must also consider that the victim is a juvenile and if he had succeeded to rape her, he would have destroyed her life and would have left her traumatised for the rest of her life.”
The court concurred with the State’s submissions and handed down a custodial sentence. On July 30 at around 10am, the complainant was walking down the road in Waterfalls when Chipani stopped her. The victim continued walking with Chipani following behind her. Chipani persisted demanding that she accepted his proposal, but the complainant maintained that she did not love him.
He then went away and the complainant continued with her journey. When she was passing through a bushy area, Chipani suddenly emerged from the grass while half naked.
Before she could run away, Chipani grabbed her hand and pulled the complainant behind a precast wall, which was near the bushy area. He tried to rape her, but she wrestled with him and managed to kick him on his privates and he fell to the ground.
The complainant screamed for help and five men, who were passing-by rushed to her rescue. They apprehended Chipani and took him to the police.