HARARE – An 85-year-old Buhera chief, convicted for raping a teen relative, has approached the High Court seeking to vary his police reporting conditions after being freed on $500 bail pending an appeal.
Magaya Gunguwo’s rule as Chief Chitsunge of Buhera was sullied after he was convicted in April for raping a 14-year-old girl who happens to be his relative.
Gunguwo was sentenced to 15 years behind bars, before five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour within five years of his release.
He later successfully applied for bail pending an appeal.
He was ordered to report to Dorowa Police Station every fortnight as part of his bail conditions.
In his application for variation of the bail conditions, Gunguwo told the court that after being convicted, he was no longer getting monthly payments, thereby making it difficult for him to raise bus fare.
He also claims he was of ill health and that the police station where he reports was far away from his place of residence.
“Given applicant’s age, state of health and the fact that he is the current chief Chitsunge, there is no risk of absconding in this matter even if the reporting condition is removed,” reads Gunguwo’s application.
However, prosecutor Editor Mavuto opposed the application, arguing that it was not in the best interest of justice for the total scrapping of Gunguwo’s reporting conditions. He said Gunguwo should at least report once every month.
The matter was yesterday deferred to next Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Gunguwo committed the offences between February and August last year after the chief had asked the girl to look after his grandchildren while he attended a chiefs’ conference in Bulawayo.
According to court papers, the girl is related to the chief.
The State managed to prove that when the chief came back from the conference, he raped the girl several times in his bedroom.
The matter only surfaced after the girl started complaining of stomach pains.
Her mother took her to hospital where doctors discovered she had been sexually abused.