A Johane Marange apostolic sect member was yesterday slapped with an effective 10-year sentence for assisting the church leader to rape a Grade Six pupil.
Regional magistrate Jessi Kufa convicted Marion Chindaro of Nyamande Village under Chief Chinamhora against his plea of not guilty after a full trial.
Chindaro was arrested for facilitating the rape by dragging the 14-year-old girl to a room where the said sect leader believed to be Mike Kofi was.
Kofi is still on the run and is yet to be apprehended.
In passing sentence, Kufa said Chindaro committed the offence out of ignorance of the law, as it is a Johane Marange culture to marry off young girls.
“The accused person is not sophisticated and did not realise that what he was doing was an offence at law,” Kufa said adding that he is not the actual perpetrator.
During mitigation, Chindaro had pleaded for a lenient sentence saying he is a widower and father to two minor children.
Prosecutor Panganai Chiutsi proved beyond reasonable doubt that on March 10, the juvenile and her aunt went to Musana, Bindura for a Johanne Marange church conference.
While at the conference, her aunt went for prayers and left the complainant in the tent.
A woman, whom the complainant identified as Mai Shalom, approached the girl and told her that she was wanted by the aunt to help her collect some goods at the shops and the girl complied.
The two boarded a kombi and dropped off near Nyamande Primary School as the woman claimed they were about to reach the shops.
However, the woman took her to a homestead where there were several men, including Chindaro.
Chindaro grabbed the complainant and dragged her into a room where he handed over the Grade Six pupil to the alleged rapist and said “uyu ndiye murume wako” (this is your husband) before leaving.
The sect leader then locked the room and raped her once. The complainant escaped the following morning but could not locate the road as she was not conversant with the area.
The court heard that the juvenile wandered barefoot the whole day and around 5pm met one Mercy Mazero and narrated her ordeal
Mazero accompanied her to Chinamhora police station where a report was made, leading to Chindaro’s arrest. H-Metro