Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
A 29-YEAR-OLD soldier who was stationed at 4.1 Infantry Brigade in Masvingo will spend the next two years in prison after he was found guilty of having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
Blessed Chirima, who was a corporal, appeared before Masvingo magistrate Mr Peter Madhibha and was convicted on his own plea of guilty and sentenced to two and half years for having sexual intercourse with a young person. Six months were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
Mr Madhibha said Chirima showed that he was not responsible by sleeping with a young girl, who is half his age and that he deserved sterner punishment from the court.
“You demonstrated the highest degree of irresponsibility by sleeping with a young girl, who is more than half your age. You are 29 years and the minor is only 13 years old doing Form One. How dare can you be so inconsiderate, irresponsible and unreasonable in this manner? You deserve a deterrent sentence,” said Mr Madhibha.
In mitigation, Chirima said he was not aware that the girl was under-age when the two fell in love and had promised to marry her after she completed school. He said he had already started paying her school fees.
“Your honour, I was not aware that the girl was under-age. I had already offered to marry her after she completes her school and I am already paying her school fees,” said Chirima.
Prosecuting, Mr Costa Sesenyani said early this month, the girl from Nemamwa Growth Point under Chief Shumba area was attending a prayer session when a prophet asked her whether she was a virgin. The court heard that the girl revealed that she had been “deflowered” by her boyfriend, a soldier stationed at 4.1 Infantry Brigade in Masvingo. She said she had slept with the soldier on several times between January and May this year. The revelation was made in the presence of the girl’s mother who then made a formal report to the police at Nemamwa. Investigations were carried out leading to the arrest of Chirima.