A serial rapist who raped three women in Domboshava before robbing them was yesterday sentenced to an effective 34 years in jail.
Goodwill Mhandu (21) was convicted of three counts of rape and three counts of robbery by Harare regional magistrate Mrs Letwin Rwodzi. Initially, for the six counts, Mhandu was jailed for 72 years.
On the rape charges, Mhandu was sentenced to 15 years in jail on each one of the three counts but Mrs Rwodzi then set the sentences to run concurrently, giving an effective 15 years, the same as for a single offence.
For the first robbery, he was sentenced to 12 years in jail of which two years were suspended conditionally.
One more year was suspended on condition that he pays back what he stole by the end of this month.
On the second robbery charge he was again jailed for 12 years, but this time three years were suspended on condition of good behaviour when he comes out of jail. On the third robbery count the sentence was 24 months and six months were suspended.
This time the three effective sentences of nine years, nine years and 18 months were added together for 19,5 years, and that term was added to the effective 15 years for rape to give the 34,5 years total.
The State said in November last year, Mhandu armed with a machete and iron bar, broke into Joina City Tuckshop in Domboshava where the complainant was sleeping.
Mhandu, who is HIV positive, according to the State papers, tied the shopkeeper’s hands and legs before raping her three times without protection after threatening to chop off her head with the machete.
After raping her, he ransacked the tuckshop and stole US$150, $5 000, groceries and two cellphones. The court heard that Mhandu packed the goods into plastic bags and the woman’s black satchel and went away.
In January 26 last year, Mhandu also broke into another shop called Hot Dog situated in Domboshava and grabbed the woman who works there by the collar before pulling out a knife and demanded cash.
He handcuffed her and demanded that she surrender the shop keys. After forcing her into the shop he tied her legs with a rope before raping her twice without protection.
Mhandu then opened the cash box and stole US$500, $2 000 and two cell phones.
On January 6, this year, he also broke into another woman’s house armed with an axe and a machete.
He ordered her to remain silent or else he would kill her. He allegedly stole US$6 from her wallet and assaulted her demanding more money. Mhandu then raped her four times before packing her groceries into a bag and fled. Mhandu was later arrested after a tip-off. Ms Ethel Mahachi prosecuted.