A PROMINENT Mberengwa businessman has been jailed 20 years for rap_ing one of his employees.
Praymore Ndlela (52) who runs a chain of grocery shops and a bar at Maranda Business centre, appeared before Gweru regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing one count of indecent assault and another of rap_e.
He pleaded not guilty to both counts but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.
Ndlela will serve an effective jail term of 17 years and six months after part of the sentence was conditionally suspended.
In delivering sentence Mrs Msipa said Ndlela committed serious offences and there was need to send a deterrent message to other employers who would want to abuse their workers.
It was the State's case as presented by prosecutor, Mr Kelvin Guvheya that on February 20 last year Ndlela unlawfully and with indecent intent, grabbed the complainant` by the waist and molested her without her consent.
The court further heard that on the same date, Ndlela instructed the complainant who was the bar lady to load empty crates which were in a storeroom into his vehicle.
The court heard that Ndlela followed the complainant into the storeroom, grabbed her by the waist, she tripped to the ground and he raped her.