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Zimbabwe: businessman in court for rape charges

12.04.2024 | By Tinei Tuhwe

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A Harare businessman Ishmael Matyenyika is on trial for rape and aggravated indecent assault after he allegedly sexually abused his sister-in-law for years spanning from 2011 to 2022.

The accused, whose age was not given, is being tried by Harare magistrate Themba Kuwanda and is out on bail.

When his trial commenced on Monday the businessman denied the allegations.

He insisted that he had been in a consensual love affair with the complainant.

The businessman also said their relationship turned sour after she blackmailed him to buy a house for her “in honor of their long-term relationship” and he turned down the request.

The accused and the complainant have a child born in 2022 and are currently under the care of social welfare.

The State alleged that the abuse started in 2007 when the complainant was still a minor and had visited her sister’s residence.

It is alleged that the accused would take advantage of his wife’s absence and force his sister-in-law to perform indecent acts on him.

It is also alleged that sometime in 2011, the accused was at his in-law’s residence when he forced himself on the complainant after she brought him food in his room.

“So the first time l was sent by my mom to give him cereal and prepare his water to bath so it’s in the morning so he was still in the blankets and he dragged me onto the bed.

“He told me that l was his wife and should experiment sex since it’s a sweet thing”, the complainant told the court during the trial.

The court heard that the abuse continued over the years.

 At one time the complainant was working at the accused’s restaurant.

Prosecutors alleged that he would take her to various lodges where he would sexually abuse her.

The complainant said she was forced to undergo abortions twice in 2014 and 2018 as a result of the abuse.

However, the accused said the complainant got angry after he ended their relationship on the realization that she was a lesbian.

“…these allegations are a result of an attempt by the complainant to fix the accused who recently terminated the extra-marital affair upon realizing that complainant is having a same-sex sex-relationship with a certain lady in a clear case of lesbianism,” read part of his defense outline.

The accused denied ever abusing the complainant when she was still a minor.

The trial continues on 23 April 2024


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