By Yeukai Karengezeka
A Chitungwiza man who allegedly raped his three-year-old child after he chased away his wife over a misunderstanding was yesterday acquitted after the State failed to prove its case.
The accused, who is aged 37, appeared before Chitungwiza regional magistrate Mrs Estere Chivasa on rape charges.
He pleaded not guilty, and was set free after a full trial
In freeing the man, Mrs Chivasa said the State failed to find evidence that could convict him as the testimony of the complainant and witnesses was inconsistent.
“The State was relying on circumstantial evidence, but there is no direct evidence linking the accused person to the offence,” she said. “The complainant gave three different accounts, saying firstly it was her mother who inserted a stick in her private parts, then she said it was her father who placed a stick in her organ, before saying her father had raped her.
“Medically, a tear was discovered outside her private parts, but there was no penetration and there was contradiction from the witnesses’ accounts as to who collected the child the following day and the grandfather denied the statement he had given to the police in court, raising a lot of questions.
Prosecuting, Mr Tendai Mukariri alleged that on June 23 at around 1900hrs, the child’s mother had a misunderstanding with her husband who chased her out of the house.
She went to her sister’s house and left her child in the custody of her husband.
The father later went to bed with his child and allegedly raped her. The following day, the minor informed her grandfather that her father lifted up her dress and had sexual intercourse with her while they were sleeping.
On the same day, the girl’s mother came to collect her and on the way, she started complaining that she was in pain.
The mother inspected the child and observed a tear and some blood inside her private parts and made a report to the police.