A pastor with a church based in Victoria Falls has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for raping his 12-year-old niece on several occasions.
The man, aged 70 years and belongs to the Twelfth Apostolic Faith Church was on Tuesday convicted on his own plea by Hwange resident regional magistrate.
Asked why he committed the offence, the man of the cloth, claimed that his niece had started coming home late and when he asked her why she was coming late she told him that she had a boyfriend. He further claimed that the girl told him that her breasts were itching prompting him to send her packing until a neighbour intervened and told him to take her back. He told the court that he then succumbed to temptation and decided to bed the niece.
Not suspending a portion of the sentence, the judge said the pastor's blameworthiness was very high in that he betrayed the trust that had been bestowed on him. She said, as a man of the cloth, the pastor was expected by society to lead by example and protect the young child, who looked up to him for protection against any form of abuse.
The prosecutor told the court that sometime in June last year, the pastor's wife left for South Africa leaving him to take care of the girl.
On 31 December 2012, her mother noticed that her panties were bloodstained and when asked the girl related her ordeal.
A report was made to the police leading to the pastor's arrest.