Masvingo magistrate Esther Muremba, in passing her sentence warned several other militias who committed the offences that no one was above the law across the political divide.
Muremba slapped Mavhenyengwa, a war veteran who commandeered Zanu (PF) youths during the campaign period in Ruware resettlement area in Chiredzi, with a 20 year effective term for committing what she termed a serious and grave offence.
In passing her sentence Muremba lambasted the war veteran and labelled him a ‘thug and disrespectful opportunist who took advantage of the prevailing political situation that time to rape helpless and vulnerable women.
“I considered in aggravation that he committed a serious offence by taking advantage of the then political situation to rape a married woman,” she said.
Prosecutor, Batanai Mathose said on 22 May 2008 the boisterous war veteran leading a militia of rowdy Zanu (PF) youth descended at Albert Svudu’s homestead in the wee hours and found his wife Clareta asleep.
Mavhenyengwa allegedly awakened the woman who was naked and instructed her to cover her self with a jacket and join toyi-toying youths outside her house.
He allegedly forced her to jog to the nearby base he commanded which was about six km form her place.
It was heard that she got tired of running and complained that she could not take it anymore. This led to other youth to proceeded leaving her with the commander who then dragged her to a bush and raped her once.
It was further heard that she was taken to the base where she was assaulted and tortured and ordered to tell her husband and family not to support MDC again before she was released.
She was later found unconscious near her home by her husband who quickly carried her to the nearby hospital on his bicycle and a report was made leading to his arrest.
Muremba said the offence attracted a lengthy jail term because the rape caused untold suffering to both the victim and her husband who is now reportedly scared of having unprotected sex with his wife.
He added that they were high risks that he could have infected her with the deadly HIV/AIDS disease and or other sexually transmitted diseases.