A 47-year-old man is to serve 14 years in jail for having sex with a mentally ill 19-year-old-girl and infecting her with HIV/AIDS. Having sex with a mentally ill person is an offence.
A 47-year-old man is to serve 14 years in jail for having sex with a mentally ill 19-year-old-girl and infecting her with HIV/AIDS.
Sarafino Aginya is a resident of Metu in Moyo district.
Having sex with a mentally ill person is an offence.
Aginya, who was arrested red-handed last August, yesterday pleaded guilty, and blamed Satan.
Any person who has sex with a woman, knowing that she is an idiot or imbecile, is liable to imprisonment for 14 years, according to the Penal Code.
Passing judgment, Magistrate Geofrey Salaume, said Aginya intentionally infected the girl, which had traumatised the family and her care-takers.
The night he committed the horrific act, Salaume said, Aginya pretended to be drunk and the girlâ€™s parents offered him accommodation.
In the middle of the night, Aginya forced the girl into â€œlive sex and infected her with HIV/AIDSâ€ well aware of his status, the magistrate stated.
â€œYou have traumatised and abused the hospitality the family of this girl provided you by adding more stress and misery to her parents by forcing her to have unprotected sex while knowing that you have HIV/AIDS,â€ Salaume said while reading his ruling. Salaume said there was need to keep people like Aginya â€œaway for sometime so as to make others learn.â€
â€œI want to keep you away from others by giving the maximum punishment which I feel is proportionate to your act, which will be 14 years of imprisonment.â€
He said Aginyaâ€™s act was a taboo in African culture.
â€œWe canâ€™t tolerate this kind of act. It is taboo in African culture to have pre-marital sex with a girl at her parentsâ€™ home and in their bed,â€ he fumed.
Salaume cautioned the people of Moyo to be careful with distant relatives and friends when extending hospitality to them. Aginya has 14 days to appeal to the High Court if he so wishes.
The prosecutor produced a medical report proving that the accused was HIV-positive and had infected the girl.
The court heard that Aginya was accommodated in the same room with the girl. The mother heard her screaming and rushed to the bedroom where she found Aginya forcefully having sex with the girl. Aginya was arrested and handed over to the Police.
The intentional spread of HIV/AIDS is not covered by the Penal Code. But the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, now in Parliament, seeks to make this a criminal offence. It is intended to provide a legal framework for the national response to HIV and protect the rights of individuals affected by HIV.
The Bill has, however, been vehemently opposed by the people living with the disease. The Bill has been also criticised by activists, saying it requires HIV-positive people to reveal their status to their sexual partners and pregnant women to be tested.
Laws that make the intentional HIV transmission an offence have been in effect in the developed world. The trend is growing in Africa, where higher prevalence levels make such laws attractive to policymakers.
In Switzerland, a man was sent to jail earlier this year for infecting his girlfriend with HIV, even though he was unaware of his HIV status. A Texas court recently sentenced a man living with HIV to 35 years in prison for spitting on a Police officer.
UNAIDS has warned that using criminal laws in cases other than intentional transmission could create distrust between healthcare workers and patients.
Man jailed for infecting girl with HIV