Thupeyo Muleya –  Beitbridge Bureau

A 14 year-old-girl from Lutumba area in Beitbridge last Friday burst into tears in court and begged a local magistrate not to jail her 20-year-old boyfriend who had been convicted of statutory rape.

Lovemore Mapanzure was said to have used his uncle’s house to be intimate with the minor for four days before she was rescued by police.

Beitbridge resident magistrate, Mr Tiyondepi Zhou, convicted Mapanzure on his own plea of guilty and sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment before conditionally suspending four months of the sentence for five years.

Prosecutor, Mr Tariro Makaya, told the court that Mapanzure proposed love to the teenager in December last year and she accepted.

On 29 March this year, the girl visited Mapanzure at his uncle’s homestead where they became intimate once.

The two stayed together for four days during which they were intimate at least once daily.

Police raided the homestead after the girl’s mother reported the case.