Mutare Man Sentenced to 20 Months for Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

April 19, 2024
| Report Focus News

MUTARE, ZIMBABWE — A 26-year-old man from Mutare has been sentenced to serve 20 months in prison after being convicted of having sexual intercourse with a minor, in a case that has stirred local discussions on child protection and the legal ramifications of child marriage under the new Marriage Act.

The unidentified man faced the Mutare Magistrate’s Court where the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) successfully demonstrated that he engaged in sexual activities with a 14-year-old starting in February 2024. These activities occurred multiple times at his homestead, leading to subsequent relations.

The case came to the fore when the young girl, suspecting she might be pregnant, fled to the accused’s home. The situation was escalated to law enforcement when her mother reported the incident to the police, which resulted in the man’s arrest and subsequent trial.

The court handed down a 24-month sentence, with 4 months suspended, leading to an effective jail time of 20 months for the accused.

This conviction aligns with Zimbabwe’s stringent new Marriage Act, which strictly prohibits child marriage and sets the minimum legal age for marriage at 18 for both genders. Under this law, facilitating or partaking in the marriage of a minor is a criminal offense, subject to prosecution.

This legal precedent underscores the government’s commitment to ending child marriage and enforcing laws designed to protect the rights and welfare of children across the nation.