THE Health ministry has tightened security at Maphisa Hospital in Matobo district, Matabeleland South province, after the institution experienced a series of break-ins at its maternity ward where preg_nant women were se_xually abused.
In July, three expecting mothers at the hospital were se_xually abused while two others were rap_ed last week, a situation that has shocked the community with some suspecting that the heinous acts could be for ritual purposes.
The recent rap_e case happened at a time when the country is commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
It is alleged that in the latest incident, three machete-wielding men were spotted entering the maternity ward where they threatened and rap_ed the victims.
Matabeleland South provincial medical director Ruth Chikodzore told Southern Eye that security at the hospital would be tightened.
“We had a meeting as the ministry, hospital officials and community members, and we came up with several measures that will ensure the safety of patients. We decided to increase the number of security personnel at the hospital,” Chikodzore said.
“There will be police officers patrolling the hospital during the night. Each ward will now have a guard to protect patients. The windows will also be secured as well as the doors,” she said.
Chikodzore said the community had also formed a neighbourhood watch committee to guard the institution.
“Some community members have volunteered to beef up security at the hospital. We have a group of villagers who will be working with the police during the night to make sure that a similar incident does not happen again.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said they were investigating the matter.