A BULAWAYO magistrate has ordered police in Insuza to rescue a nine-year-old girl who has been raped THREE TIMES in a year by three different men.

Regional magistrate Crispen James Mberewere issued the order while handing out a 10-year jail sentence to 18-year-old Simiso Tshabalala of Merryland Village in Insuza.
Tshabalala is the third rapist to be sent to Khami Prison for molesting the girl.

Last year, she was raped by her uncle and a neighbour, who were tried separately and sent to jail.

"In assessing this case, the court found out that this girl has become a victim from men in her village and as such, I'm ordering the officer in charge at Insuza police to take the girl to a place of safety recommended by the department of social welfare," said Mberewere.

"They must also take other female children or siblings that stay under the same roof with the victim as they're equally vulnerable to abuse."

Mberewere said he had been left with an impression that twisted men from the village were queuing to abuse the girl.

The court heard that the young victim lives with her grandmother, whom the magistrate described as unreliable because she is an inebriate who is always following beer parties.

Giving her testimony, the girls' mother, who has two other children with another man whom she lives with at a local business centre, said her mother was an abusive drunkard who beat up children when she was drunk.

Prosecuting, Trust Muduma told how the girl was in the company of her three-year-old sister when Tshabalala raped her two months ago.

"On April 27, this year, the complainant was eating wild fruits on her way from a nearby homestead. Tshabalala, who was herding cattle with his friend, Trynos, approached her from behind, gagged and dragged her into the bush where he raped her once," he told the court.

The prosecutor said Trynos was on the lookout and alerted Tshabalala when a group of passersby were approaching.

"Tshabalala's friend, Trynos, whistled when a group of villagers went past the area to alert his friend who then produced a knife and ordered the girl to proceed to her place of residence without raising alarm," he said.

The matter came to light on May 10 when the girl's mother discovered that she was bleeding from her privates, the court heard. The girl was taken for medical examination at St Lukes Hospital and a report was produced in court as evidence.

Tshabalala had pleaded not guilty, claiming the juvenile had mistaken him for somenone else from the village.

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