HARARE – A 60-year-old widower who raped his twin granddaughters in a soya bean field in Norton has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Grandfather Nicholas Gwatura, who had earlier pleaded not guilty to the rape charge, was initially slapped with a 15-year jail term but three years were set aside on condition of good behaviour.
In passing sentence, regional magistrate Sandra Mupindu noted that Gwatura lived a crime-free life for 59 years and that he is also the breadwinner for his three minor children of school going age.
Mupindu, however, said that Gwatura was not fair on the twins as he deflowered them and it would negatively impact their lives.
“Gwatura was in loco parentis at the time when he took advantage of the twin sisters who are also orphans,” Mupindu said. “In a bid to defend himself, he portrayed both the complainants and his daughter’s mother-in-law as selfish and cruel individuals who connived to falsely incriminate him because he had demanded outstanding lobola from his daughter’s in-laws.”
Facts presented are that on an unknown date, Gwatura was in the soya bean field ploughing when the twins brought him food.
On different occasions, he sent one of the twin girls to chase away monkeys that were disturbing them.
The court heard that the grandfather would then rape the remaining girl in the field.
It is the State’s case that he would order the girls to return home after telling them to keep mum about the whole matter.
The case, however, came to light on April 23, when the twins went to a church meeting with their grandfather and the church elders organised for a virginity test on all girls.
Prosecutor Junior Mugebe told the court that when the elders discovered that the girls were not virgins, they quizzed them, and the truth came out.