- Published on 20 June 2015
- Written by Newsday
Chinhoyi regional magistrate Never Katiyo last week got stuck to his crown chair and suffered a temporary blackout in a suspected case of juju as he delivered judgement against a 38-year-old man accused of raping his maid three times.
The rapist, Willard Chimanikire, was eventually slapped with a 40-year prison term after being convicted of raping his 15-year-old housemaid sometime in February 2013.
However, there was drama at the Chinhoyi Magistrates' Court on Thursday last week when Chimanikire was called into the dock to listen to the judgment after both the State and Chimanikire had closed their cases.
While in the process of delivering judgment, Katiyo paused as if to take a breather, but the situation got worse as he then failed to read his own hand writing prompting him to request prosecutor Mercy Ndingadii to call for an adjournment.
As if that was not enough, Ndingadii called for silence in court to enable the magistrate to stand up and take a break, but to everyone's surprise, Katiyo remained seated.
The prosecutor repeated the call for all to rise in court two more times, but Katiyo would not manage to stand up. He simply stared at the gallery as the effect of the alleged juju was taking its toll on him.
After more than 30 seconds of being stuck to his chair, Katiyo suddenly stood up and called Ndingadii to follow him to his chambers.
Invited to comment on what had befallen him, the magistrate simply laughed, adding he was not permitted to talk to the Press. But the news had already spread to other court officials and members of the public.
After more than two hours of resting, the court convened and Katiyo managed to finish delivering his judgment.
Chimanikire was found guilty of rape and slapped with an effective 35-year jail term after five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
According to the State case, Chimanikire, who is married and has children, pounced on his housemaid on three different occasions while his wife was away.
The court heard at one point, Chimanikire raped the girl, telling her she could not have eaten his sweets for nothing, but threatened to send her to her rural home if she disclosed the incident to his wife.
However, Chimanikire's luck ran out when the teenage girl was caught abusing her employer's five-year old son and upon being quizzed over the incident by the police, she blamed it on the sexual encounters.