THE Court of Appeal has confirmed the 30 year jail term imposed on a driver with Air Bus, Nasibu Ramadhani, for raping a passenger in a guest house at night on false promises.
This followed the decision given by a panel led by Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma as well as Justices Richard Mziray and Rehema Mkuye to dismiss the appeal, where Ramadhani, the appellant, had lodged to challenge findings of both the District and High Court as first appellate court.
“We cannot interfere with concurrent findings of facts in the trial District Court and the first appellate court that the appellant had sexual intercourse with the then a 14-year-old (girl).
As a result, this appeal is devoid of merit and is hereby dismissed,” they declared.
The justices pointed out that section 130 (2) (e) of the Penal Code is clear, as having sexual intercourse with a girl under 18 is rape, with or without her consent.
The first appellate court, they noted, agreed with the findings of facts by the trial district court that the appellant was the one, who raped the girl.
According to them, there is no doubt that when the fourteen-year old girl found herself stranded at a bus stop, ahead of her destination in the bus driven by the appellant, she thus became vulnerable to potential sexual predator(s).
“Being a driver of a public bus service vehicle, they said, the appellant assumed the position of an authority over his vulnerable passenger(s) and the law prohibits him from taking sexual advantage of his position of trust,” the justices said.
They noted that the woman, who offered to take the passenger to a nearby Mosque, at very least, appreciated her vulnerability on account of her tender age.
Similarly, the justices said, when the appellant as responsible bus driver stepped in to assist the stranded girl at a tender age, he was assuming the role of “a person of authority” within the meaning of section 130 (3) (a) of the Penal Code.
The law provides: “Whoever being a person in a position of authority, takes advantage of his official position; and commits rape on a girl or a woman in his official relationship or wrongfully restrains and commits rape on the girl or woman.”
They, therefore, agreed with the prosecution that the evidence of the victim disclosed the necessary ingredient of rape and similarly agreed that the evidence of the victim of sexual offence can stand on its own feet to secure a conviction.
Referring to another decided case on the import of section 127 (7) of the Evidence Act, the justices said that a conviction may be founded on the evidence of the victim of the rape if the court believes, for the reasons to be recorded, that the victim witness is telling nothing but the truth.