A Harare man who was jailed 13 years after he was convicted of raping a local sex worker at knifepoint in 2019 is seeking a review of his conviction and sentence.
John Muvirimi approached the High Court seeking to overturn his conviction and sentence saying the sentence was too harsh.
Muvirimi filed an application for condonation for the late filing of his application which was then thrown out by High Court judge Justice Neville Wamambo.
The judge said the lower court was in fact lenient with Muvirimi adding that he had failed to justify his delay in filing his appeal.
“In an application such as this one a number of factors are considered namely degree of non-compliance with the rules, reasonable explanation for the failure to file a notice of appeal in time and prospects of success on appeal.
The record reveals that applicant (Muvirimi) was sentenced on 22 February 2019 and his application was only filed on 10 September 2021.
“Applicant gives basically three reasons for the delay. He avers that it took time for his relatives to pay for the recording. The period of delay is in excess of the 24 months as averred by the applicant. Why would it take more than two years to access a record? I find his explanation unreasonable,” said the judge.
The other explanation proffered was that there was unavailability of a transcribed record which Wamambo was unreasonable.
“The period from 22 February 2019 to 10 September 2022 is a period of 31 months, a considerable period indeed. I am satisfied that the degree of delay is too long. For the reasons as given above I also find that the explanation is not reasonable in the circumstances.”
Commenting on the issue of leniency the judge said, “The findings of credibility, the violent path walked by the applicant that fateful night and the medical report were properly canvassed by the trial court. I am in agreement with such findings and find that in the circumstances the prospects of success are dim on conviction.”
Muvirimi was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment of which two years were suspended on conditions of good behaviour.
He attacked the sentence noting he was a youthful first offender.
“The trial court was mindful that the applicant was youthful and as youths would be, they are sometimes given to thoughtlessness and lack of life experience.
The judge said the lower court also found that the fact that applicant is a first offender worked in his favour and dismissed his application.
Prosecutors proved that Muvirimi had an altercation with the victim’s friend on the day allegations arose.
The victim intervened creating commotion.
Muvirimi allegedly fled from the scene but later returned and dragged the complainant to a secluded place where he tore her clothes and undergarment before raping her.
In other news – Rimbi tours bus involved in an accident
Rimbi Travel and Tours bus that was travelling from Zimbabwe to Malawi was involved in an accident on Tuesday.
The development was announced by Information Ministry Permanent Secretary, Nick Mangwana, who posted on his Twitter account saying the accident happened near Mutoko.Learn More