Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Child rapist released to play golf

                                      Aubrey Cummings


….move comes few weeks
after Women’s Day commemorations
….convict has ‘good
working relationship with Mutimurefu Prison’

Moses
Ziyambi
The Zimbabwe Prisons
and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Masvingo region recently released a convicted
rapist from Mutimurefu Prison so that he could enjoy a one-day golf jamboree at
Masvingo Golf Club, TellZim News has learnt.
Aubrey Cummings, a
businessman in the automotive industry, is serving a 15-year jail sentence
after being convicted of repeatedly raping his minor niece since she was in
grade six up until she was in secondary school.
Cummings was the
minor’s guardian and the first incident of the rape happened at his Rhodene
house when the girl was 11 years old.
He was
however allowed to participate in the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional
Services (ZPCS), Commissioner General’s Goodwill Trust Fund golf tournament
held on April 13.
He
played

in a four ball that included some respected golfers.
After the tournament,
sources said, Cummings was chauffeured to a more comfortable cell at Masvingo
Remand Prison for the night, instead of being immediately driven back to
Mutimurefu.
When Cummings was
sentenced by regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga in 2017, he swore and
threatened his minor victim – who was now 16 years of age – with unspecified
action once he got released from prison.
Some fellow golfers were
horrified by the arrangement, saying the move showed that real jail time in
Zimbabwe was for the poor.
“We have an unrepentant
rapist who, upon being sent to prison, threatened the victim right in front of
the court now being pampered with VIP treatment and being allowed to play golf.
It was an uninformed decision which tainted the spirit of the tournament, one
of whose objectives is to raise funds to improve the welfare of vulnerable
children and orphans. What message then does that sent to society?” said one
golfer who preferred anonymity.
Another one said ZPCS
was abusing its so-called rehabilitative programmes to treat rich people with
kiddies’ gloves.
“I think that was a
disgraceful thing to do. Cummings has not yet served even two years of his
lengthy prison term yet he is already being allowed to enjoy select luxury
privileges.
“ZPCS must have
considered the feelings of the young girl who was repeatedly abused. And to
imagine that it all happened a few weeks after we commemorated International
Women’s Day is outrageous,” said another golfer.
Others said the
inclusion of Cummings was a PR disaster for an organisation that claims to
champion the cause of justice and for a tournament that seeks to, among other
things, help the cause of vulnerable children.
“He enjoyed cold
drinks, braaied meat and a warm bath like everybody else. He didn’t at all look
like a prisoner. You could see he was having a time of his life,” complained
another player.
When contacted for
comment, ZPCS Masvingo public relations officer Stanslous Sanike said it was
usual for them to allow Cummings to play in the tournament.
“We often do that. He
is a golfer so he was allowed to play as part of our rehabilitation and
reintegration programmes for prisoners,” said Sanike.
When asked what
criteria are used to select beneficiaries, Sanike said any prisoner could be
considered to go out and play.
“Any person can apply
for permission. We however consider such things as good behavior and wouldn’t
release somebody who endangers community,” he said.
He, however, would not
confirm whether or not special sleeping arrangements were made for Cummings
after the tournament.
Sources at Mutimurefu,
however, said Cummings was being given preferential treatment because he had a
‘good working relationship with the prison’.
“Some of our vehicles
are serviced at his workshop when they break down. He also recently bought a
big TV screen for the prison so he was rewarded with his own separate cell
where he has unlimited access to satellite television. He also doesn’t eat
prison food because he is a Muslim who should only take halaal. His family
brings him warm food from home every day,” said the source
Recent media
revelations were that corruption was getting out of hand in prisons, with
reports that prison warders and guards were working with rich inmates in such
vices as smuggling contraband, facilitating secret conjugal visits and setting
up illicit business deals.
Three prison officers
are currently on trial in Harare on many allegations that include favouring
businessman Munyaradzi Kereke, who is serving time for rape, with unscheduled
visits by his wives and extra time behind prison walls while other prisoners
toiled.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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