FORMER Gwanda mayor, Rido Mpofu (71) was slapped with a 12-year jail term on Tuesday for raping a 15-year-old orphaned minor who was staying at his home.

He appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Elisha Singano, who suspended three years from the initial 15-year jail term on condition of good behaviour.

The court heard that Mpofu (71), from Jacaranda suburb in Gwanda, would often fondle the minor.

Sometime in 2019 after asking her to polish his shoes at night, he took advantage and raped her. Mpofu pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Prosecutor Patience Sibanda said Mpofu would threaten to chase the victim away from his home or stop supporting her if she reported the matter.

“Sometime in 2019, the complainant was at the accused person’s place of residence where she used to stay, and one night when she was about to sleep, Mpofu went into the complainant’s bedroom and asked her to polish his shoes.

“He pushed her onto the bed and raped her. The accused person threatened to stop paying school fees for her if she revealed the matter to anyone,” Sibanda said.

She said the matter came to light after the victim told her grandmother about the rape, which led to Mpofu’s arrest.

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