Crime & Courts

Suspected Ritualist Arrested For Attacking Over 16 Minor Girls

Ritual beliefs have reportedly turned a Harare man into a serial ræpist who went on a four-month reign of terror in Harare’s Glen View and Budiriro suburbs where he §exually attacked at least 16 minor girls.

In what is turning out to be one of the biggest ræpe and ßexual assault cases in recent times, the knife-wielding suspect broke into several houses between September last year and this week where he threatened to harm the girls before raping them or at least ßexually m_olesting them.

Apart from ßexually attacking the minor girls, the suspect would also steal gas tanks, cellphones and other household items after committing the ræpe offences.

Residents in the two suburbs and surrounding areas were now living in perpetual fear of the suspect whose infamous ræping spree was brought to an abrupt end when police arrested him in the capital yesterday.

The suspect has now been linked to 14 cases which occurred in Glen View and two others in Budiriro since September last year.

To heighten suspicion that he was doing it for ritual purposes, the man would first ask his victims if they had been ßexually intimate with another man before. If the answer was in the negative, he would proceed to ræpe the minors and if it was in the affirmative, he would only mœolest the victim and leave.

His arrest comes after police in Harare recently warned residents that there was a serial ræpist on the loose in these areas.

Following investigations, the suspect, whose name is still being withheld for fear of jeopardising the probe and to protect the victims, was arrested yesterday morning at Churu Farm near Glen View 1.

He is understood to have ræped girls aged between seven and 14 at Churu Farm, Glen View and Dare Rechimurenga housing section of Budiriro.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest saying investigations were still in progress.  “There is a suspect that has been picked up and is currently being interviewed. So far he has cleared about two rape cases.

However, we can’t conclusively say he has been linked to 16 rape cases or not as investigations are still continuing,” he said.  He said they were yet to interview other victims and also to conduct an identification parade as part of the ongoing investigations.

However, in a statement last week, Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector Luckmore Chakanza confirmed that they were looking for the suspect saying by that time, they had received five similar ræpe reports.  “Police have noted with concern, the number of ræpe cases involving a man targeting minor children for the past month.

The similarities of the cases in how the perpetrator breaks into houses and ræpes minor children shows that it could be the same person.  “In the latest five cases recorded, the perpetrator broke into houses, threatened the girls and asked if they had engaged in any §exual activities before.  “If the girls say no, he raped them and then fled,” he said.

Insp Chakanza then appealed for information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect.

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