Seke Teachers College student-teacher sexually abuses 13-year-old pupil

by Tulip Charowa

A STUDENT teacher from Seke Teachers College has been found guilty of molesting a primary school student, but will only do community service after the presiding magistrate suspected the initial 12-months sentence.

24-year-old Nashville Gwariwa of Chitungwiza was convicted of indecent assault for fondling a 13-year-old student at Harare’s Highlands Primary School.

Gwariwa, a student-teacher at Seke Teachers College, was doing his teaching practice (attachment) when he committed the offence.

During the trial presided over by Harare Magistrate Dennis Mangosi, the court heard that Gwariwa committed the offence in December.

The prosecution told the court that the student-teacher approached the student, who was in the company of her friend and offered her a yellow jacket as a present. The minor declined the gift, but Gwariwa insisted until she gave in.

After accepting the gift, Gwariwa asked the minor to accompany him to the music room. The girl complied while her friend excused herself.

When they were alone in the music room, the teacher told the 13-year-old minor that he would miss her and asked her to kiss him. The minor refused.

Gwariwa, however, refused to take no for an answer and dragged the minor to him so that he could forcibly kiss her. When the minor tried to scream, he clamped her mouth with his other hand.

The minor tried to push him off, but he was too powerful and dragged her closer to his body. Fortunately for the minor, her friend walked in during the commotion, and Gwariwa jumped away from the 13-year-old.

The minor told her friend what had transpired, and the two of them marched off to the Headmistress’ office to file a complaint. The head, Ms Mavis Ngwarati, then filed a police report leading to the arrest of the pervert teacher.

Gwariwa told the court that he was not aware that what he had done was a criminal offence during the trial.

Magistrate Mangosi ruled that the prosecution had proved its case against Gwariwa beyond a reasonable doubt. He also said that the courts have a duty to protect minors from perverts and sentenced Mangosi to 12 months in prison.

However, the magistrate then suspended all 12 months on condition of good behaviour and ruled that Gwariwa should perform 350 hours of community service instead.

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