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by NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Bulawayo
BULAWAYO, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S high court is advocating for men who rape children to be castrated.
The court believes current sentences are not deterrent, resulting in a spate of such incidents in the Southern African country.
Justice Francis Bere, presiding over a case in the second city of Bulawayo, said castration would discourage paedophiles.
He sentenced rapist Sikunda Dube (57) of Plumtree, the western border town with Botswana, to 20 years in jail for violating and impregnating his neighbour’s 16-year-old daughter.
“Paedophiles that go around sexually abusing minors should be castrated as some form of punishment, which is what legislators are calling for,” Bere said.
Some Zimbabwe legislators have advocated for the death sentence against such rapists.
The convict however begged for a lesser sentence arguing he was a family man, a widower and the sole breadwinner for his five children.
“The sentence is too harsh and needs to be reviewed. May justice be tempered with mercy and I pray that the appeal against sentence succeeds,” Dube begged.
Whisper Mabaudhi, the state prosecutor, dismissed the appeal for lesser sentence insisting aggravating circumstances always outweighed mitigating circumstances.
The court heard the rape occurred in July 2013.
Dube threatened his victim with assault if ever she reported the rape case.
The girl’s ordeal came to light after it emerged she was pregnant.
She disclosed the rape to her mother and uncle, prompting a report to police and the arrest of the rapist.
– CAJ News