A 38-year-old woman from Gokwe has been arrested for allegedly forcing herself on and raping her 22-year-old neighbour.
An apparently intimacy-famished Lucia Mandishara from Chirovamari village in Gokwe South was arrested for forcing herself on Standard Mugande.
She appeared at the Gokwe Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to answer to the charges of forcing her 22-year-old neighbour to be intimate with her. Mandishara was denied bail by the magistrate and remanded in custody.
The state alleges that Mandishara committed the offence on February 6, 2021. According to the state’s case, on the day of the crime, the 22-year-old went to Mandishara’s house at around 7 PM to collect some charcoal.
At this point, Mandishara asked Mugande to lend her US$5. Mugande then told his neighbour that he did not have the money and left for his own house.
Mandishara is alleged to have followed Mugande to his home. When she entered his room, she locked the door behind her and expressed her physical desire for her neighbour.
However, Mugande turned down the request for an intimate encounter. This did not go down well with Mandishara who decided to have her way with Mugande regardless of his feelings on the matter.
She allegedly held him by the throat and forced him onto the ground. Once Mugande was on the ground the 38-year-old woman allegedly got on top of him and raped him once.
ZBC reports that after the deed was done, Mugande is alleged to have extricated himself from his neighbour’s clutches and escaped from his room. He reported the sexual assault to the police, leading to the arrest of Mandishara.
The case is still pending at the courts.
Under Zimbabwean criminal law, women cannot be charged with rape. According to Section 65 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter9:23], rape is a crime that is committed by a male person who has non-consensual sexual intercourse with a female person and involves penile penetration. The maximum possible sentence for rape is life imprisonment. Critics have called for this law to be reformed and for the definition of rape to be widened.
Women can only be charged with indecent assault or aggravated indecent assault. Aggravated indecent assault has the same penalties as rape although some magistrates can be lenient when it comes to sentencing. A Marondera maid who raped her employer’s 9-year-old son was sentenced to an effective 3 years in prison after being convicted of aggravated indecent assault.