Gweru Regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire last week sentenced a  ZAOGA church elder  to twelve years in prison for raping his daughter.

The 53-year-old church elder, of Chinamasa Village under Chief Gambiza, from Chiundura was sentenced  for raping his 13-year-old daughter three times. Three years of the sentence were suspended on condition of good behavior.

According to the state case, the church elder first raped his daughter in September 2011. He also raped his daughter once this year in January.The church elder is the biological father to the complainant who is now 16. He was staying with the girl after the death of his wife, the girl’s mother.

For the state, Ndamukaneyi Chikuni, told the court that sometime in September 2011 on an unknown date the church elder approached the complainant who was in her bedroom and told her that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her.

Chikuni said the complainant refused but the father forcibly pushed the complainant to the bed and raped her once.

The court heard that the girl did not reveal the matter to anyone after her father threatened to kill her.

Chikuni said on an unknown date again in September the same year at around 10pm, the church elder who was naked, went to his daughter’s room where he found her asleep. He pinned her down and raped her once.

According to the prosecutor, the complainant did not tell anyone  fearing for her life.

The court also heard that in January this year at around 3.30pm, the complainant went to her father’s bedroom to collect her clothes.

Chikuni said when the girl was about to get out of the room, the father got hold of his daughter’s arm and dragged her to his bed and raped her once without wearing protection.

The abuse came to light on August 4 this year when the girl narrated her ordeal to Rachael Njini, the school clerk, who then notified the school headmistress, Ustina Sithole.

Sithole interviewed the girl who related everything that happened. A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the father.