Man Saved from 13 year jail sentence
By A Correspondent
A Zimbabwean court has suspended a 13 year jail sentence on a 39 year old Bulawayo man who was convicted for allegedly deliberately infecting his girlfriend with HIV.
Nevson Mpofu was slapped with the 13 year jail sentence, with three years suspended on condition of good behavior, on November 4, 2016 by Bulawayo magistrate, Sibongile Marondeze.
Marondeze argued Mpofu contravened Section 79 (1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codifications and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 when he intentionally had unprotected sex with his girlfriend knowing he was HIV positive.
Mpofu however had his sentence overturned following AHigh Court appeal against conviction and sentence through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
“Mpofu, who is employed as a security guard in Bulawayo was saved after an intervention by Lizwe Jamela of ZLHR who represented the 39 year-old man and filed an application for bail pending appeal on Tuesday 22 November 2016 after realizing that Mpofu tendered a plea of guilty but on perusing the record he noted that his plea was not a genuine admission of the charge and all the essential elements of the offence.
“Jamela argued that the sentence given to Mpofu was too excessive considering that there was no actual transmission of HIV to the complainant and that there was an objection to the production of his medical records in court during his trial,” the ZLHR for human rights said.
According to the ZLHR, Mpofu was released on $100 bail by Magistrate Marondedze pending the hearing and determination of his High Court appeal against both conviction and sentence.
In his appeal, Mpofu through his lawyer wants his conviction and sentence set aside and a fresh trial constituted before a different Magistrate.
He also argues Magistrate Marondedze erred in convicting an ‘unrepresented accused person without properly explaining the charge and the facts of the matter to the full appreciation and understanding of the accused person’.