Tamary Chikiwa in BULAWAYO
A 32-YEAR-OLD Lupane man will serve an effective 30 months behind bars after being caught red handed trying to rape a 78-year-old woman in a bushy area.
Bright Bhukanana of Gudubhu village was arrested after his victim, who cannot be named, screamed leading to neighbours rushing to the crime scene in the same village.
Bhukanana fled the scene upon seeing the neighbours coming to the victim’s rescue, but he was later arrested by the police.
Bhukanana pleaded guilty to the attempted rape charge when he appeared before Lupane resident magistrate Ndumo Masuku, who slammed him with 36 months in jail and suspended six on condition of good behaviour for five years.
Masuku described Bhukanana as a predator of vulnerable groups hence his “lengthy” service in prison is going to be a lesson to all those who pounce on helpless people.
“Children and the elderly are vulnerable groups that we expect community to protect and respect. If it was not of the neighbours, he would have raped her, so he deserved a punishment for this,” Masuku said.
The court heard that Bhukanana forced the woman to the ground and started to molest her in his attempt to rape her.
The woman, who was helpless, fell to the ground and screamed leading to neighbours coming to her rescue.
Although he managed to escape, the neighbours positively identified Bhukanana, leading to his arrest.