By Tendai Rupapa
A Harare medical doctor was on Tuesday jailed an effective 11 years for raping a 21-year-old patient after drugging her at his surgery. Dr Alfred Mamsa (56) had denied the charges, but the court convicted him after a fully contested trial.
His wife, who was seated in the gallery, broke down when magistrate Mr Adiona Masawi announced the verdict. Mr Masawi slapped the doctor with a 15-year term of imprisonment, but set aside four years.
Earlier, in his judgment, the magistrate said Mamsa failed to produce the woman’s diagnosis card and the drug he administered to her to the police. He said if he had shown the drug to the police, it would have been easy for the State to do a research on the effects of that drug.
The court also noted that the defence — led by Advocate Moses Mthombeni — failed to challenge some facts that were presented by State witnesses.
“The defence failed to challenge some facts like why the accused person did not ask the woman to make another booking when she arrived late for her appointment, why there were no female attendants present when he was conducting such a delicate procedure and why he would let her remove all her clothes while he was doing a pelvic examination,” he said.
He said the doctor did not warn her of the procedure, for example, the insertion of fingers and speculum in her uterus.
“I suppose the accused should have told the complainant the procedure of the examination before administering the drug. I found it hard to believe that the complainant would mistake the instrument (speculum) for a sex-organ,” he said.
The defence was found wanting for not disputing the key elements during cross-examination. Although the court noted that the woman’s testimony was not convincing in some areas, Mr Masawi said the State had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mamsa was guilty.
Prosecutor Mrs Kudzai Chigwedere had called for a stiffer penalty arguing that a non-custodial sentence would trivialise the offence. She said a deterrent sentence should be passed to warn would-be offenders. However, Adv Mthombeni had implored the court to exercise leniency arguing a wholly suspended sentence would meet the justice of the offence.
After the sentence, Adv Mthombeni advised the court of his intention to appeal against both conviction and sentence.
On March 19 this year, the woman called Mamsa as she was unwell and needed to be attended at his surgery. When she arrived 15 minutes later, Mamsa’s receptionist had knocked off. Mamsa proposed love to her and instructed her to remove all her clothes after telling her that the examination he was going to carry out would make her vomit.
The woman was injected with an unknown drug and felt dizzy before she passed out. She woke up after an hour covered with a cloth while naked and still feeling dizzy. When she asked Mamsa what had happened he laughed and told her he had got all what he needed from her.
Mamsa offered to take her home and apologised to her without saying what the apology was for.
Source : nehandaradio