44-year-old man from Gweru has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for a raping his 15-year-old daughter.

The father (name withheld to protect the identity of his daughter) appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing one count of rape.

He pleaded not guilty.

He was convicted after a full trial and was handed a 17-year prison stay but will serve 14 years after Mrs Msipa suspended three years on his sentence on condition of good behaviour.

The court heard that in May 2019, the victim’s mother went to Gweru town to attend a church service and left the victim and her siblings in the custody of their father.

Prosecutor Mr Talent Tadenyika said on that day around 9PM, the father summoned the victim to his bedroom.

“Upon entering his bedroom, the accused pushed the victim on the bed, shoved a pillowcase into her mouth to stop her from screaming. He produced a knife and ordered her to remove her clothes,” said Mr Tadenyika.

He raped his daughter once before ordering her to leave his room.

The court heard that the father threatened to murder her if she revealed her ordeal to anyone.

“She ran away from home and reported the matter to a Childcare Worker. The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the father,” said Mr Tadenyika.