POLICE in Bulawayo on Friday brought to an end an alleged serial rapist’s reign of terror, after he was arrested following the rape of 16 young women in the city’s western suburbs.
Prosper Bhule (27) allegedly se_xually assaulted at least 16 girls between the ages of 15 and 21, masquerading as a cross border transporter (malayitsha) who had been sent to deliver groceries to them. Bhule is alleged to have raped girls in the suburbs of Pumula North, Pumula South, Pumula Old, Gwabalanda, Lobengula West, Cowdray Park and Magwegwe. He had been on the prowl for the past two months.
Acting Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the arrest.
“A suspect in connection with the 16 rape cases that occurred in Bulawayo has been apprehended. Police are doing their investigations and we shall give out a full statement in due course.”
Asst Insp Msebele told Sunday News that Bhule was yet to appear in court, with police still conducting further investigations.
Earlier in the week, police had issued a warning to residents that a serial rapist was on the prowl in the city, targeting female-headed families.
In a message widely circulated on social media, Asst Insp Msebele revealed that the alleged serial rapist, who appears to have carefully selected and stalked his victims, would claim that he had been sent by relatives based in South Africa to deliver groceries. She said the suspect seemed to have gathered extensive information about the victims and their families, including history of their recent dealings with other malayitshas.
Armed with this information, he would convince them that he had been sent by their relatives in the diaspora. He would then claim that his delivery vehicle had broken down before asking his victims to accompany him to Gwabalanda suburb to collect their groceries. On the way he would then rape them at knife-point in a bushy area around Gwabalanda.
“He is targeting houses where only females are known to live, or are present at the time. He arrives at your home and seems to already know people’s names.
“He then tells a story that he was sent to deliver some goods by your relative in South Africa but the car broke down, before inviting you to jump into a Honda Fit to go to Gwabalanda to collect the said goods.
“Along the way he turns into a monster. The women are raped at knifepoint and almost all of them were robbed of their phones,” she said.
— Sunday News