A wave of outrage has swept across Tanzania following the revelation that a middle-aged woman has been found guilty of raping an eight-year-old boy, causing him to contract sexually transmitted diseases. Desderia Mbwelwa, aged 57, received a 29-year prison sentence on Friday, although the details of the verdict remained largely undisclosed until now.
The incident occurred when the woman encountered the victim while he was tending to cattle in a village located in the southern district of Iringa. She inquired about the whereabouts of his friends, and upon learning that they were absent, she proceeded to sexually assault him beneath a tree.
During the trial, five witnesses, including a doctor who examined the boy, provided testimony confirming his injuries and the presence of sexual infections in his genital area, indicating the occurrence of the assault.
Mbwelwa reportedly defended herself by highlighting her status as an adult with dependents, including children and grandchildren. Her lawyer, Frank Mwela, expressed plans to appeal the verdict on the grounds that his client was not tested to confirm the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.
“In neither my client’s nor her witness’s case was there any positive test result for those diseases, as they both confirmed they do not have them. One of the witnesses is her husband,” he stated.