HARARE – Police are hunting for a convicted rapist who vanished from Rotten Row Courts holding cells immediately after receiving a 15-year jail term.
During roll call, prison officers discovered that Emmanuel Sibanda, 26, who had just been handed down the hefty penalty by Harare regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire was nowhere near the court building.
Sniffer dogs had to be roped in with hopes that Sibanda may have been hiding somewhere near the courts since it was inconceivable that he could have escaped unnoticed while wearing prison garb.
However, the searches did not yield any positive results and it is being alleged that his residence is now under close monitoring.
Sibanda had been found guilty of raping a 40-year-old woman that he offered a lift in Mbare Musika last month.
Magistrate Nemadire suspended three years of the sentence so Sibanda would serve an effective 12 years behind bars.
On August 7 around 5am, the woman was at corner Chatima and Adbernie roads waiting for a commuter omnibus to go to Mbare Musika.
A car with registration numbers ABU 9117 stopped for her and she advised the driver that she was going to town.
Sibanda was driving the car and suddenly turned left and drove along Pazarangu Street prompting the victim to ask why he had diverted the route.
Sibanda did not answer and turned right into Mushongandebvu Walk towards Mbare Musika and parked his car beside the road before ordering the woman to comply with his instructions.
He threatened to end her life if she resisted.
Sibanda then undressed the lady and raped her without using protection after which he drove to corner Mhlanga Avenue and Adbernie Road where he dropped her.
He then drove away along Adam Chigwida Street towards Mbare Flats and at that same time the woman went to file a police report against him.
The woman was examined at Mbare Clinic and Sibanda was subsequently arrested.