The trial

Two brothers stayed in the remote rural areas of Gokwe in a country called Zimbabwe, a country which is in political turmoil.
But the political turmoil of Zimbabwe is not the story.
The story is that the younger of the two Gokwe brothers was a thief, and he went to jail for three years for theft.
He left a wife on the outside, and his elder brother pounced on the younger brother’s wife..
And the elder brother slept with the young brother’s wife, as the elder brother toiled and tilled the land and provided for his own and his young brother’s family, while the young brother served jail time.
Upon his return, after the expiration of his three year jail term, the young brother’s wife approached the elder brother and said;
“Brother-in-law, your
young brother is back.
Our little treastie has
come to an end.”
The elder brother capitulated.
And they lived in peace and tilled the land and tended their cattle and raised their families.
But disaster stalked them. The spirit of prison haunted their family. It manifested as follows;
Three men drank opaque beer at a rural bar in Gokwe.
The three men were: the elder brother who provided for the family when his young brother was in jail, the young brother who was a thief who served jail time, and the young brother’s friend.
So they drank. And schemed.
The young brother thief and his friend said;
“The teachers of the
skool yonder have gone
on holiday. But they
have left valuable
property in their
houses. Pots, plates,
blankets, solar panels,
the works. Let’s go and
steal. But how do we
carry the stolen loot?”
The elder brother did not dissuade them, but agreed to loan his young brother and his friend donkeys and a scotch-cart, for purposes of ferrying the stolen loot.
So the young brother who was a thief and his friend enspanned donkeys to the elder brother’s scotch cart, and set out to steal..
This was his chance.
The elder brother crept to his young brother’s hut, where the young brother’s wife slept alone, for her husband had gone to steal from a rural skool twenty kilometers away.
So the elder brother entered his young brother’s hut using minimal force and said;
“Don’t worry, your
husband has gone
to steal many
kilometers away.”
And he crept into the blankets, and his young brother’s wife snuggled up to him, reluctantly. Doubtfully. Guiltily.
The thieving entourage consisting of the young brother and his friend had a puncture on one of the wheels of their donkey drawn scotch cart, a few kilometers from their village.
The younger brother walked back home to fetch tools to mend the puncture, and a pump.
Disaster.
The elder brother lay on his back after satisfying his young brother’s wife, savouring his victory and contemplating a second round, certain that no one would uncover his shenanigans..
After all, his young brother the thief was many miles away, stealing.
Yet in truth and in fact, the young brother thief was outside the hut where the elder brother slept with his young brother’s wife, intent upon grabbing tools to repair the punctured scotch-cart.
So the young brother thief knocked at his own door, beckoning his wife to hand him tools to repair the puncture.
The occupants of the bedroom hut froze, and there was pandemonium.
The young brother’s wife screamed;
“Rape, rape, there’s a
rapist in my blankets,.
he is in here, he is
ravishing me,”
And the young brother who was outside the hut slammed his shoulder into the rickety door and broke it open and roared;
” Who dares enter my
my household, come
out and l’ll sort you
out.”
The elder brother galvanized into action. He dressed promptly and sprang from his young brother’s bed and raced towards the door with head bent down and leapt at his young brother’s body and drove his head into his young brother’s chest, toppling him.
He rose, and fled.
“It’s your elder brother,
I saw him, he is the one
who tore into me using
force. He is an animal.”
The young brother’s wife wailed.
The raucous raised the entire household.
Instead of going to steal, the scotch- cart ferried the young brother’s wife to the nearest police station, some twelve to fifteen kilometers away.
The police officers were spellbound by the young brother’s wife’s story.
” No, she did not agree
to have sex with him.
Yes, he forced himself
onto her. Yes, she was
rescued by her
husband.”
And the police officers drove her to Gokwe General Hospital that same night where the Doctor on duty compiled a report which had the following findings;
“Substantial semen
deposits found around
genitalia. Penetration
achieved.”
And a manhunt for the fugitive elder brother was launched.
Some six days after the incident, members of the police constabulary got information that the elder brother was staying at his mother’s brother’s home, several kilometers away. They went and arrested him.
And the elder brother stood trial for rape.
The evidence against him was overwhelming.
The young brother’s wife, the young brother, the two brothers’ aunt who came to the scene upon hearing the young brother’s wife cry for distress, and the doctor, all testified and their evidence pointed to sexual intercourse having taken place.
But against all the evidence, the elder brother denied any wrong doing, and insisted that he didn’t sleep with his young brother’s wife.
When the elder brother was put to his defense, the Prosecutor tore into him, and showed him the folly of his defense. Cornered, the elder brother started to change his story, and started to admit that sexual intercourse had taken place, but with his young brother’s wife’s consent.
The Prosecutor would have none of it. He pointed out during cross examination that the elder brother was lying to the Court, because he was saying two different stories, the first one being that he never slept with his young brother’s wife, and the second one being that the young brother’s wife agreed to sleep with him.
It was a fiasco.
The magistrate was an experienced judicial officer. On the evidence before him, there was no way the elder brother could escape liability. He had been caught in a lie by the Prosecutor, and it was improbable that his own relatives would gang up to lie against him. And the doctor’s evidence was the final nail in his coffin.

The Magistrate did not hesitate, he convicted the elder brother of one count of rape and sentenced him to an effective jail term of 8 (eight) years with hard labour.
Silence in Court.
Although there was nothing wrong with the decision based on the evidence that was presented in Court, something bothered the Prosecutor.
After the trial, as he performed his administrative duties to facilitate that the witnesses who attended the trial be paid, he spoke to the elder brother’s relatives.
This was outside Court. Whatever was said did not count.
They made a startling revelation.
They said:
lts true that the elder brother was sleeping with the young brother’s wife during the time the young brother was in prison. The young brother’s wife fell pregnant, and the family decided to assist her get an abortion from the village midwife, instead of publicising the scandal to the world and risk turning brother against brother.
Yes, it’s true that the young brother’s wife was attracted to the elder brother, even after the young brother had come back from prison. She always chose the elder brother to assist her with chores that gave them private time, and they admonished her against it several times.
According to them, the only reason why the young brother’s wife screamed rape was because she had been caught in the act by her husband.
The trial for rape was a farce.

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