FRANCISTOWN: Women who frequent bars are more susceptible to be raped than those who prefer to stay home, a recent High Court judgement shows.
Over the years the police and other community leaders have made impassioned pleas begging people especially women not to go to entertainment places such as bars unaccompanied because it puts them at high risk of being raped and other undesirable social ills.
Recently-although accepting that rape can happen to anyone anywhere and not trivialising its effects on victims-a case that has all the hallmarks of what the police have been saying over the years came to live in Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo’s court albeit slightly different.
The case in question relates to Osenyang Motsamai who was appealing against his conviction and 16 years jail term that was passed by a magistrate court in 2014.
Motsamai was found guilty of having unlawful sexual intercourse with his victim on June 24, 2012 at Gumare.
According to Justice Nyamadzabo’s judgement, it is clear that Motsamai started to develop deep romantic affection to the complainant the first time he saw her at the bar.
The judgement says that he even said in jest that he would break into Gumare Cooperative Community Store and give the complainant all his ill-gotten loot should she agree to his love overtures when asked by one Baikwathai, who was also at the bar.
He did not even know the complainant and never proposed love to her but just told his friend that he had a deep romantic attachment to the complainant.
Although the victim was not raped on her way home from the bars, the judgement says Motsamai and his friends followed her to her place of abode where Motsamai later took her to a secluded place before raping her.
Justice Nyamadzabo said he was satisfied that the 16 years jail term that was imposed by the trial court in the matter was appropriate since the rape was accompanied by “great violence” which Motsamai occasioned on the victim.
“Looking at all evidence, this court is satisfied that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the sexual intercourse between the appellant and complainant was not consensual to which the trial court was correct in entering a verdict of guilty.
“As regards the issue of sentence, the law is quite clear that a mandatory sentence of 15 years should be imposed in a rape attended by violence resulting in injury to the victim,” said Nyamadzabo.
He added: “Looking at the gravity of injuries sustained by the complainant, there is no reason to interfere with the sentence passed by the trial court and consequently an order is made that the appeal against conviction and sentence be and is dismissed. The conviction and sentence by the trial court is confirmed.”