Caged ... A 30-year-old rapist has been jailed 232 years after being convicted of 18 counts of the crime

BULAWAYO – A 30-year-old serial rapist has been jailed 232 years by a Bulawayo magistrate who found him guilty of 18 counts of rape on teenage girls in the second largest city between December 2018 and March 2022.

Prosper Bhule was handed the severe sentence on Friday at the Tredgold Regional Magistrates’ Court.

In a statement, the National Prosecuting Authority said Bhule chose to strike in moments when the girls were alone at home, on their way to school, or running errands.

“The accused person targeted the girls when they were alone at home or on the way to school or on an errand,” NPA said.

“He lured them from the security of their homes by saying that he had been sent to advise the girls that their parents, guardians or relatives had sent them some parcels or groceries from South Africa or vegetables from the local market.

“He would insist that the girls must go to the collection point with him to get the parcels.

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“He lied so convincingly that his victims followed him to the said collection points.

“He took the victims through a bushy area where he would threaten them with an okapi knife, kick them with booted feet and assault them with fists before raping them.

“He also robbed the victims of their cell phones.”

According to NPA, all the victims promptly reported the crimes to their nearest police stations.

“All the victims made a report to the nearest police station soon after being raped.

“The prompt reports and description given by the victims helped the police to realise that they were dealing with a sophisticated criminal who premeditated his crimes.

“He gathered information about the victims and the frequency with which they were likely to receive parcels, groceries etc from relatives and used the information to commit his crimes.

“A manhunt was successfully coordinated by CID Homicide leading to the accused person’s arrest.” — ZimLive

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