Zimbabwe – EIGHTY-ONE children were raped in two weeks countrywide with police investigations revealing that relatives perpetrate most of the cases.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said rape cases continued to increase countrywide and during the week ending September 25 this year, rape cases rose by 16 from 65 the previous week.
“The (rape) cases are on the increase and during the week ending 25 September 2012, the cases rose to 81 from 65 the previous week. Evident from our investigations is the fact that relatives commit most juvenile rape cases,” she said.
Asst Comm Charamba said most people were attempting to resolve the cases at village level without involving the police.
“The public on noticing such cases try to resolve them at village level and only report to the police when such attempts have failed.
“Rape cases like most serious crimes need to be attended to early so that evidence is not lost.
“All reports of criminal nature should be reported to the police as soon as possible,” she said.
Parents, Asst Comm Charamba said, should always monitor their children’s movements.
“Parents and guardians should also be careful when leaving their children in someone’s custody. In most cases when a parent decides to travel, he or she might leave the child with neighbours and this is where they also need to be careful,” she said.
In 2011, 3 172 rape cases of juveniles were recorded countrywide while figures from the 2010 stood at 2 883.
Meanwhile, Asst Comm Charamba said mysterious murder cases that occurred in Domboshava last month were purely criminal cases and had nothing to do with ritual purposes.
In most cases, the assailants were getting away with cash, clothes and cellphones.
She said police were looking for Patrick alias Chibhobhorobho in connection with the murders while Blessing Kunaka and Joshua Chibondo were arrested last week over the matter.
The two arrested are from Chitungwiza.
“Post-mortem results done on the bodies indicate that the deaths were as a result of severe head injuries as a result of assaults. From the police perspective, it is apparent that these offences have nothing to do with ritual murders as speculated in the media.
“There is nothing from the investigations to disprove that this is the work of pure criminals.
“The police would want to assure the public that they will pursue all cases of this nature until all the culprits have been accounted for,” said Asst Comm Charamba.
She said police had recovered a chain used to assault some of the victims.
Asst Comm Charamba said no victim had missing body parts and police had increased patrols in the area.
“We have beefed up patrols to ensure such offences do not occur. Police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department from the homicide section have been deployed in the area together with members from the Support Unit,” she said.
Six people were murdered in Domboshava over the past few months, a development that left villagers gripped with fear and panic.
Preliminary investigations have showed that most of the victims were struck with blunt objects.
A fortnight ago, a reinforcement of 22 police officers and resource vehicles were dispatched to the area.