Crime & Courts

Sangoma Kidnaps, Rap£s Girl (14) After Promising Her Employment

A 49-year-old self-styled traditional healer from Beitbridge District has been jailed for an effective 24 years for kidnapping and trafficking to South Africa a 14-year-old girl whom he repeatedly rap£d in Musina Town.

Dumisani Banda of no fixed abode in Beitbridge pleaded not gu¡lty to charges of human trafficking in person and rap£ when he appeared before a local regional magistrate, Mr Innocent Bepura, yesterday.

However, he was convicted on the strength of the State evidence and sent to pr¡son. Banda was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for one count of human trafficking in person.

For the rap£ charge, he was sentenced to 18 years behind bars, and four years were conditionally suspended for five years, leaving him with an effective 24 years to serve.

Prosecuting, Mr Claudius Karinga said sometime in May this year, Banda came across the complainant at Engen Service Station where she intended to board transport to travel to visit her aunt in Bulawayo.

He then pretended to be a tout and encouraged her to travel to South Africa with him where she would get a ‘lucrative’ job as a housemaid. Banda then led the teenager to an illegal crossing point at the Limpopo River where he met with another man still at large.

Whilst at the river, the girl refused to proceed and attempted to run away but Banda and his accomplice gave chase and caught up with her.

They then tied her hands and legs with a rope, put her in a makeshift boat, and crossed illegally into South Africa.

Upon arrival on the South African side, Banda boarded a car to Musina but was dropped in a bushy area where he kept the girl hostage.

The State said the man repeatedly rap£d the girl in the bush for four days after which Banda shifted with the complainant to a new site after discovering the South African soldiers had set a camp in the area during border patrols.

During his escapades, he threatened to k¡ll his victim if she attempted to escape from him again. The court further heard that after a few days, Banda gave the complainant spirit medium attire with blue, white, black, and a fish image to wear.

He warned her against removing those clothes, indicating that she would be inviting bad luck and evil spirits.

Banda also declared to the lady that she was now his wife and they moved to another place near Boxer Supermarket in Musina. He also continued to rap£ her while staying at the new site where he was selling traditional herbs.

The accused was arrested on 24 May when the girl’s mother arrived with the police from South Africa following a tip-off.

Banda and the girl were arr¥sted for being illegal immigrants and deported to Zimbabwe, where a report was made against him and he was subsequently arrested.




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