Nicodemus Dzvete, a Village Head under Chief Chikwaka in Goromonzi District was on 30th December 2020 slapped with a 12 months jail term for indecent assault.
Provincial Magistrate Chiedza Gatsi sentenced Dzvete to 12 months imprisonment of which 7 months were “wholly suspended unless the accused preforms 245 hours of community service at Bosha Clinic near Bora growth point”.
The remaining months were suspended for the next five years for good behaviour, according to the Murehwa Court Record number MRWP 114/20.
Dzvete was accused of indecently assaulting his 8-year-old niece (name withheld) on several occasions while taking advantage of that her father was late.
The victim would visit Dzvete’s homestead in the company of her older sister who is three years older during school holidays, it was alleged.
The matter only came out during the first phase of the lockdown when the older sister complained of Dzvete’s se_xual advances on the two sisters.
A police report for rape was made leading to the village head’s arrest.
He was arraigned before a Murehwa Court where the Regional Magistrate discharged him for “lack of evidence”.
However, this journalist is reliably informed the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has since appealed against the verdict citing what it feels was ample evidence to convict Dzvete for “attempted rap_e”.
According to a Regional Court record MRWR 33/20, Dzvete who, was represented by J Bakasa of the Nyamayaro, Makaza and Bakasa law firm, accused the mother of the two minor girls Maria Gomora (nee Sibanda) of lying because she begrudged him.
Dzvete alleged that the minors’ mother connived with one Tayengwa Dzvete to fabricate rap_e cases against him to secure his imprisonment so that the latter could replace him as village head.
“Maria and Tayengwa were once lovers before her husband died in 2016, as a Village Head I handled their adulter0us matter and I even fined them, this is when the beef started.
“However, I am aware that she is conniving with Tayengwa Dzvete to have me imprisoned so that I lose my position as a village head,” Dzvete said in his defence in both cases.
Village head Dzvete was not so lucky this time around as his defence in both matters could not sway Magistrate Gatsi who convicted him after a spirited fight for his freedom.
Instead of taking care of the minor children who were in his house during the lockdown, Dzvete would get into their bedroom and f0ndle their brea_sts as well touch their privates.
When the matter came to light in April 2020, the wife of Nicodemus Dzvete assaulted the elder minor child in the presence of her mother for allegedly fabricating against her husband.
As has always been the cases of se_xual nature in Zimbabwe, women tend to defend their husbands instead of protecting the minor children whose voices cannot be heard easily.
As a result of this conviction, it is alleged Nicodemus and his brother whose name was not provided, are threatening Maria with eviction from their village.
Although Tayengwa Dzvete, Maria and the accused Nicodemus are related and know each other, the fight for the position of village head and Headman is so fierce that these families don’t get along anymore.
“The fact that I admitted to my family members before my husband died that I had an adulter0us affair with a man whose identity I will not reveal, does not take away the fact that my two children were molested by my in-law, the village head.
He is trying to hide behind the finger and alleges I was having an affair with his cousin Tayengwa just to confuse the courts,” Maria explained.
“The dispute for leadership is well known in the Dzvete area and that’s why Nicodemus tried his luck using the same trick in both se_xual matters.
At least 21 women are rap_ed daily in Zimbabwe, translating to one woman being se_xually abused every 75 minutes, statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Office revealed. The data shows a 42 % increase in rap_e cases over the past six years, a trend that is quite disturbing.
Rap_e cases even more than doubled in Zimbabwe during the lockdown that started on the 30th of March 2020.
By April 15 last year, 95 rap_e cases were reported to the police against 68 cases the previous year, statistics provided by the Zimbabwe Republic Police revealed.