CASES of men pouncing on young girls who are still juveniles are on the rise and there is a need to send out a warning to all of them out there that it is illegal to sleep with these minors.
The call for deterrent sentences to would-be paedophiles follows an increase at courts of cases of young girls being defiled by their older boyfriends.
Records obtained at the Bulawayo magistrates’ court housed at Tredgold Building indicate that the courts were now reporting double the number of cases which were usually dealt with per week.
In the latest case, a 20-year-old man Steven Mpiyabo Ncube (20) from Trenance suburb was arrested for allegedly helping himself to his 14-year-old girlfriend.
Circumstances are that on an unknown date but during the period between June 2021 and October 2021, Ncube proposed love to the minor girl from Tshabalala suburb and whose name is being withheld for ethical reasons.
It is reported that after Ncube learnt that his minor girlfriend was sleeping alone, he would visit her at her place and allegedly sneak into her bedroom and have sexual intercourse with her on several occasions.
The matter, however, came to light following a tip-off to the girl’s parents by neighbours who were reportedly seeing Ncube sneaking into the girl’s bedroom.
Acting on the tip-off, the victim’s parents went and reported the matter to the police leading to Ncube’s arrest.
For the offence Ncube has since appeared before the court charged with a crime of having sexual intercourse with a minor as defined in Section 70 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
He was not asked to plead and was remanded out of custody to November 18 on $4000 bail.
Meanwhile, in 2017 in a landmark ruling that had the potential to trigger public outcry, two High Court judges Erica Ndewere and Owen Tagu ruled that, depending on the circumstances, statutory rape does not usually warrant a custodial sentence.
In their ruling, the judges set free four men who were serving jail terms for having sex with minors after adjudging that the convicts were victims of incorrect sentencing.
According to court papers, the quartet of Tinashe Makamba (20), Benice Sahumbe (25), Marshal Muchabaiwa (25) and Farai Kapirikwete (19), had applied for reviews of custodial sentences imposed on them.
Makamba had been jailed for 18 months for bedding a 13-year-old girl, while Sahumbe was thrown behind bars for 18 months for impregnating his 15-year-old girlfriend.
Muchabaiwa had been jailed for 18 months for helping himself to his 15-year-old girlfriend, while Kapirikwete was serving 24 months jail term for having sex with his 15-year-old lover.