A 14-year-old Chiwundura girl has been forced to drop out of school after she was impregnated by a 56-year-old man she owed an undisclosed amount of money.
 
The man offered the minor $5 in a bid to buy her silence. Kenneth Shirichena also of Chiwundura was slapped with 18 months imprisonment for bedding the minor.
 
Shirichena appeared before Gweru magistrate Judith Taruvinga facing one count of having sexual intercourse with a minor.
 
He pleaded guilty to the charge.In passing sentence, Taruvinga said she had taken into account that Shirichena was a first offender and had pleaded guilty.
 
“You’re a first offender who pleaded guilty and didn’t waste the court’s time. You’re also an elderly man. What I find aggravating is that the girl is a minor and you took advantage of her poverty. You even went on to bribe her with $5 and it showed you knew what you were doing,” said Taruvinga.
 
“She is now pregnant and she is skipping school because of what you did. You’re sentenced to 2 years imprisonment of which 6 months are suspended for 3 years.”
Prosecuting, Daniel Tafuma told the court that sometime in 2013, Shirichena offered a piece of land in his garden to the 14- year- old’s grandmother to grow vegetables.
 
“The girl’s grandmother was very old and couldn’t work so she sent the girl to use the garden. Shirichena then gave the girl some money to spend,” said Tafuma.
 
He said in April this year, Shirichena allegedly met the girl at the garden and demanded to have sex with her and demanded his money back if she refused.
 
The minor, according to Tafuma, agreed to have sexual intercourse with Shirichena to pay off the debt. He said Shirichena then gave the girl $5 to buy her silence.
 
“Sometime in May this year, Shirichena then had sexual intercourse with her again in the same garden on many occasions,” said Tafuma.
 
He said the matter came to light when the girl’s grandmother found out that she was pregnant.
 
The matter was reported to the police by the girl’s sister leading to Shirichena’s arrest.