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Just In : Son of former Vice President bags 20-year jail sentence for raping vulnerable minor

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Just In : Son of former Vice President bags 20-year jail sentence for raping vulnerable minor

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Siqokoqela Mphoko, son of former Zimbabwean Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, has been handed a 20-year prison sentence for three counts of rape.

Siqokoqela was also given a concurrent two-month sentence for violating a court order by Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Elijah Singano, who found him guilty of violating the victim’s constitutional rights.

The age difference between Mphoko and the victim was three times, demonstrating the former’s low morality.

He reportedly threatened the victim with death if she revealed the matter to anyone. It was also gathered that the victim looked up to Mphoko as a father figure, but he betrayed her trust, violating the rights of both the victim and her family.

Mphoko’s lawyer argued for a reduced sentence, citing his medical condition and family obligations. His lawyer said he had an immovable property, including a house and cars, and a young family. The prosecutor on their own part said the victim would suffer psychological consequences for life.

Singano however said the court must act in the best interests of the child, and many of the victim’s constitutional rights were violated, including privacy, good health, education, and dignity. The magistrate agreed with the defense’s request to treat all three counts as one for sentencing.

The magistrate said; “Lawfully each count of rape is equal to 10 years in prison and sentencing the accused 30 years for each count will be on the harsh side considering that it is the same victim and in a short space of time. The court is inclined to impose 20 years of imprisonment for all three counts and unfortunately, the court cannot further suspend this sentence as it will be taken for belittling this serious crime. The accused is therefore sentenced to an effective 20 years in prison for count one to three and two months for count four which will be served concurrently with the previous counts.”

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