POLICE have launched a manhunt for a Gokwe man who is on the run after he allegedly imprǝgnatǝd his 15-year-old niece.
The suspect, whose name could not be ascertained, but is from the Gandavaroyi area under Chief Chireya in Gokwe North, is alleged to have subjected the girl to ƨǝxual abuse on several occasions resulting in her falling prǝgnant.
The alleged rɑp!st, who is the victim’s maternal uncle, has been staying with the girl since the mother is based in Kwekwe.
Gokwe North District Civil Protection Unit (CPU) chairperson, Mr Martin Musakanda said they are seized with the matter.
“The girl is doing Form One at Gandavaroyi Secondary School and she was taken to Gandavaroyi Clinic where it was confirmed that she is four months prǝgnant. She has since been referred to Gokwe District Hospital for further assessment and monitoring,” he said.
Mr Musakanda, who is also the district development coordinator, said they are working on modalities to transport the girl from Gandavaroyi Gokwe District Hospital.
He also confirmed that police have launched a manhunt for the suspected ƨǝxual predator who went into hiding following the discovery of the offence.
“Police are hunting for the suspect who disappeared immediately after he got wind that they were looking for him following a tip-off from members of the public,” said Mr Musakanda.
He said a local child care worker was the first to discover the prǝgnancy and immediately alerted the Department of Social Welfare.
Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) chairperson, Commissioner Margret Mukahanana-Sangarwe condemned the acts calling for longer custodial sentences for perpetrators.
“We need to do more so that the perpetrators are brought to book. As a commission, we condemn such acts of rɑp!ng and abus!ng children. Anyone who is under the age of 18 cannot consent to ƨǝx or a relati0nship let alone marr!age hence it is considered as rɑpǝ” she said.
Comm Mukahanana-Sangarwe said the Commission will continue pushing for stiffer penalties for perpetrators.
She said there should be a minimum mandatory sentence for anyone convicted of rɑpǝ.
Comm Mukahanana-Sangarwe urged the community and parents to desist from a culture of sweeping cases under the carpet.
“As a Commission, we urge the community and parents to assist police by reporting perpetrators of rɑpǝ. We also encourage people to educate their children so that they know that their bodies are not yet ready for ƨǝxual activities and not be lured into relati0nships,” she said.
Comm Mukahanana-Sangarwe said the Commission has zero tolerance to such acts and urged police to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
The latest development comes at a time when the country is struggling to contain cases of child ƨǝxual abuse.
Recently, a 15-year-old learner at Loreto High School in Midlands Province, gave birth to a bouncing baby at the school hostels.
It is not yet clear who is behind the prǝgnancy.
Last year a nine-year-old Tsholotsho girl also gave birth through C-section after she was allegedly abusǝd by a close relative.
Last week, an eight-year-old girl from Bindura who was imprǝgnated by a close relative, gave birth through a Caǝsarian section.
According to the Primary and Secondary Education Statistics Report, in 2021, 14 600 pupils, including 238 primary school girls dropped out of school due to prǝgnancy and child marr`ages, a worrying number.