A 17-year-old girl from Chake Chake District in Pemba Island in southern Tanzania shocked court attendees on Thursday, August 6, when she took the stand to defend a 32-year-old man accused of defiling her, Global Publishers reports.
The girl told Mkoa B Chake Chake High Court judge, Luciano Makoye Nyengo, that she willingly gave herself to the suspect, Bakar Mbwana Juma, and that Juma did not coerce her to have sex with him on June 2 this year.
The teenager told the court that on the said-date, she visited Juma — whom she described as her boyfriend — at his home in Kengeja area.
The minor said she left home with one sole purpose in mind — to offer herself sexually to her lover.
She said upon reaching her boyfriend’s place, she had a change of mind.
“After I told him that I couldn’t sleep with him, he allowed me to leave his place. He was disappointed that I had rescinded my decision,” the minor testified.
“However, on my way home, I decided to go back and sleep with him. On reaching his place, I personally took off my clothes for him,” the girl said.
The teenager revealed that after having sexual intercourse with her lover on the floor of his house, she decided to return home at 8pm.
“In my mind, I knew that I had fulfilled my promise, and that my lover was happy.”
She said upon reaching home, her mother inquired where she had been.
“I refused to tell her. My elder brother later, that evening, returned home and also demanded to know where I had gone to. I declined to answer him. He, thereafter, threatened to beat me up if I continued to remain silent. I stood my ground, forcing them (brother and mother) to take me to Kengeja Police Station, where I was interrogated,” said the minor.
It was while on their way to the police post that she disclosed that she had gone to visit her boyfriend.
“The following day (June 3, 2020), police officers demanded I be taken to Abdalla Mzee Hospital to establish whether I had been sexually penetrated. The results confirmed my parent’s fears,” she said.
The teenager, who was listed by the Prosecution as the Second Testifier, told the court that she and the suspect had been in a relationship “for long”, but only had sex on June 2, which was “the first and the last time”.
“Being a virgin at the time, I experienced a lot of pain during and after the sexual intercourse,” the girl said.
Justice Makoye directed that the case be heard again on Tuesday, August 11, instructing the Prosecution, led by Juma Ali Juma, to produce the remaining witnesses on that day.
The Prosecution had submitted that the suspect, 32-year-old Bakar Mbwana Juma, eloped with the minor on June 2, 2020 and sexually exploited her on the same date.
Section 130 of Tanzania’s Penal Code states that: “Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act is guilty of the felony termed “rape”.
Section 131 says: “Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to be punished with imprisonment for life with or without corporal punishment.”