Girl aged 12 raped and dad drops charges.

A NKAYI father yesterday withdrew a criminal case against a relative who raped his 12-year-old daughter saying the family had agreed to settle the matter out of court.

In an affidavit submitted before regional magistrate Abednico Ndebele, the rape victim’s father said he wanted the matter to be withdrawn.

The girl was allegedly raped by her 18-year-old cousin and the teenager was caught committing the crime by their aunt.

“I’m the father to the complainant and I hereby wish to drop the charges against the accused because both these teenagers are school going children and their future is at stake. They’re related and we suspect they engaged in sexual intercourse out of ignorance,” he said.
Girl aged 12 raped and dad drops charges.
“We sat down as relatives and resolved to settle this matter out of court.”

Magistrate Ndebele accepted the withdrawal application.

The State led by Concilia Ncube said that on May 22 at around 10PM, at a homestead in Nkayi, the girl was asleep in a hut with her aunt and seven other cousins of different ages.

“The cousin then entered the girl’s blankets and allegedly raped her once while she was asleep. Her aunt saw the boy coming out of the blankets and she questioned him about his mission and he didn’t respond satisfactorily,” said Ncube.

“When he had left the blankets, the aunt went to the girl and found her asleep. She then noticed some semen on her thighs and buttocks and woke her up immediately.”
The family reported the rape to the police the next day and the girl was taken for medical examination.

The teenager was arrested and the father withdrew the matter before the alleged rapist could plead.

Local gender activist Lindile Ndebele rubbished the withdrawal of the rape charges saying the application was a violation of the girl’s rights.

“I wonder what the girl’s mother is saying in all this and I doubt if ever she was given a chance to contribute to this whole withdrawal decision. We’re only seeing the girl’s father, a man who sought withdrawal on behalf of the girl,” said Ndebele.

She said the fact that the cousin was aged 18 means he is an adult who should be tried in a court of law when he commits a crime.

“Rape is a serious crime and no one should be allowed to withdraw cases against rapists even in cases involving relatives.

“They may want to convince themselves that the issue will be solved at the family level but what about the girl’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. She is only 12 and who knows what will become of her as a result of the sexual abuse?”

Zimbabwe Women’s Coalition director Virginia Muwanigwa said rape is a serious crime against women which must never be negotiated or addressed internally, whether in the family or society.

“Rape is a crime and it is not within the jurisdiction of a father, family or community to withdraw it from the courts.

“This man may pretend that he is safeguarding the interest of the girl by withdrawing but the fact stands that the girl has already been abused,” said Muwanigwa.

She said the State must intervene and ensure justice prevails. Chronicle

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