In Zimbabwe, a twenty-five year old man in Matabeleland North province will spend one year in jail for having sex with a 15-year-old girl he had ‘married.’

The man who cannot be named to protect the minor’s identity is a gold panner in Zvishavane in the Midlands province.

He pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a minor when he appeared before Hwange magistrate Ms Rangarirai Gakanje on Friday.

The magistrate sentenced him to 15 months in prison before suspending three months on condition that he does not commit a similar offense within the next five years.

He will serve an effective 12 months.

The court heard that the girl was a Grade Seven pupil at a local school when she got married to the accused in December last year.

The accused proposed love to the minor in December 2018 when she was aged 14 and was in Grade Six.

She accepted.

Prosecutor Ms. Jamesina Makanza said the girl lied to her grandmother she was going to fetch water so that she could go to the accused person’s homestead.

The prosecutor said: “On the 30th of November 2019 the complainant lied to her grandmother that she was going to fetch water from a nearby well. She left the bucket at the well and proceeded to the accused’s place of residence. On arrival at the accused person’s homestead she was welcomed by the accused’s aunt and the accused later joined them. They discussed how the accused was going to pay the complainant’s bride price.”

The court was told that the girl spent the night at the accused’s place of residence on November 30 and they had consensual intercourse.

She continued staying at the accused’s person’s home and they had consensual sex on several occasions before he left going back to his place of work.

The girl remained at his home without her parents’ knowledge.

Some villagers tipped police leading to the accused’s arrest.

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