Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu , Senior Reporter
A 13-year-old Bulawayo girl was allegedly drugged and raped by two men near Tredgold Courts last Friday while waiting for her aunt who was meant to give her uniforms.
The girl from Cowdray Park suburb waited for the aunt until 11PM and decided to head towards Bulawayo Central Police Station. On her way, she met two men who forced her to drink Maheu laced with drugs before taking turns to rape her.
Confirming the incident, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube urged members of the public to seriously take extra care of their children.
“On Thursday a guardian from Cowdray Park sent her 13-year-old juvenile, a Grade 7 pupil to the city centre alone with no bus fare. The girl was sent to meet her aunt who was supposed to give her school uniforms opposite Tredgold Courts,” said Insp Ncube.
He said the girl waited at Chicken Inn opposite Tredgold Magistrates’ Court, Bulawayo where she was supposed to meet her but the aunt did not show up as per the agreement until it was around 11PM.
“She saw an unknown woman who was passing by and asked her for the direction to the police station where she wanted to take refuge,” said Insp Ncube.
He said on her way to ZRP Bulawayo Central, she saw two male adults along Fort Street, between Leopold Takawira and 8th Avenue.
“The duo called her and she ignored them but they followed and grabbed her. The accused men forced her to take Maheu drink which had some drugs. After being forced to take the drink she got intoxicated and started to feel dizzy. They then took turns to rape her without protection.”
The girl regained consciousness in the morning but could hardly walk.
She was approached by two unknown adults who asked her what had happened and she narrated her ordeal to them.
“Members of the public managed to arrest Obvious Moyo a male adult aged 38 who was still nearby who then implicated Amon Mpofu, a male adult aged 32 of Old Magwegwe suburb who was later arrested and a police report was made,” said Insp Ncube.
One of the adults who assisted the girl to make a report Mr Ntandoyenkosi Banda said police should go an extra mile in curbing drug abuse in Bulawayo.
“It is now normal to find people selling drugs from every street corner in Bulawayo and for that reason we will continue witnessing such horrific sexual abuse cases. Drug abuse is closely related to sexual abuse and we need police to address that challenge and ensure no one has access to these drugs,” said Mr Banda.
He said when they found the girl she was disturbed and the most worrying thing was that her family had not made any effort to check on her wellbeing as someone who did not sleep at home.
“Her guardian did not bother to make a follow up on her until 11PM and that is worrying because all this could not have happened if her family cared enough. We need families to be careful and not set up their children for abuse because we have paedophiles all over Bulawayo who will do anything just to abuse vulnerable children,” said Mr Banda.
The South Western Region Gender Network coordinator Ms Chelesile Nyathi said members of the public should avoid putting their children, especially girls in an environment where there are vulnerable to abuse.
She said awareness campaigns have been held to empower communities on how to protect their children to avoid such incidents.
‘‘We continue urging parents and guardians to guard jealously their children and teach them never to open up to strangers, trust or even ask for money from strangers as this may expose them to abuse. We should endeavour to provide our children with enough money for basics like bus fare so that they do not find themselves in such compromising circumstances. This is such a sad story and we need children to be careful as they can easily be taken advantage of by men on the streets,” she said. — @thamamoe