A MARRIED 39-year-old herdsman from Bulilima District impregnated his neighbour’s 13-year-old daughter in exchange for groceries.
Freddie Ncube of Sikhathini area will spend the next one year in prison after being found guilty of having sexual intercourse with an under-age person.
Ncube who pleaded guilty to the charges told the court that he was continuously assisting the girl and her younger brother with food during the absence of her parents.
He said he had sexual intercourse with her as he felt that he had to get something in exchange for the assistance he was giving.
He said he told the girl who was desperate for food that he would assist her in return for sexual intercourse.
“Your worship I was continuously assisting my neighbour’s daughter with food. Each time her grandmother left her alone with her seven-year-old brother she would come to my house in search for food,” said Ncube.
“I felt that I had given her a lot while getting nothing in return. Therefore I put up a condition for the girl that I would only assist her if she slept with me,” he said.
Prosecuting, Jane Phiri said Ncube, a father of three, started sleeping with the girl who is now seven months pregnant in December last year.
Her grandmother discovered that she was pregnant in May and upon investigating discovered that her granddaughter had been impregnated by their neighbour.
Phiri said the minor revealed to her grandmother that she had been sleeping with Ncube in exchange for food.
The girl also revealed to her grandmother that she gave in to Ncube’s demands out of starvation. Plumtree magistrate Livard Philemon lashed out at Ncube for taking advantage of the girl’s vulnerability.
“You should be ashamed of your actions because you took advantage of a young girl’s vulnerability. You are 26 years older than her which has to show that she viewed you as her guardian not a potential lover.
“In fact you should not go around claiming that you were assisting this girl because at the end of it all you felt that she owed you,” said Philemon.
He told Ncube that he had been pretending to assist the juvenile while on the other hand he planned to destroy her future.
He said the law had been put in place to protect young girls who were being exploited by people like Ncube.
Philemon sentenced Ncube to 18 months imprisonment of which six months were suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit an offence of a similar nature.