Thursday, 11 November 2021

GRADE SIX PUPIL RAPED, IMPREGNATED

POLICE in Bulawayo are investigating a case of a Grade Six pupil who was impregnated after she was allegedly raped by a stranger at the family house in Mzilikazi suburb.

The matter came to light when the family’s domestic worker questioned the 11-year-old girl about her delayed menstrual period and that is when she revealed that she was raped sometime last month.

According to the girl, the rapist threatened to come back and stab her if she revealed the matter to anyone.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident yesterday and urged members of the public to go an extra mile in protecting girls.

He said the increasing cases of sexual abuse of women and girls in the city was worrying and called on members of the public to work with the police to address the problem.

“We are investigating a case of a juvenile aged 11 years from Mzilikazi suburb who was raped by an unknown male adult at her home. The accused person gained entry into an unlocked house while the complainant was outside washing dishes,” said Insp Ncube.

He said when the complainant went back into the house, she found the accused person inside the house and he grabbed her before raping her once without protection.

“After raping her, the accused person threatened to stab the complainant with a knife if she dared report the incident to anyone. The complainant did not disclose the incident to her father as she feared that the accused person would come back and stab her,” said Insp Ncube.

He said the incident was revealed when the girl fell pregnant and narrated to the family domestic worker what had transpired on the fateful day.

Insp Ncube said the rape was reported at ZRP Barbourfields Post and the girl was referred to Mpilo Central Hospital for medical examination.

Meanwhile, health experts say early sexual engagement increases the risk of girls suffering cervical cancer which is the leading cancer in Zimbabwe and one of the killer diseases among women.

Reports also show that when a girl falls pregnant, they drop out of school and eventually give up on their studies.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), early sexual debut and sexual abuse of female adolescents increase the girls’ risk to unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections including HIV and psycho-social challenges in their lives.

UNFPA Zimbabwe’s adolescent sexual reproductive health specialist Mr Blessing Tafadzwa Nyagumbo said Zimbabwe is among countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a huge teenage pregnancy problem.

“The country has a high adolescent fertility rate of 108 per 1 000 among young women aged 15 to 19 years.

This is against the average fertility rate of 101 births per 1 000 young women aged between 15 and 19 in sub-Saharan Africa. Emerging data indicates that there has been a significant increase in teenage pregnancy during the lockdown,” he said. Chronicle

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