By Danisa Masuku
About 30 women are raped in Bulawayo every month, statistics that have prompted police to issue an alert over the development and release rape hotspots around the city.
Acting Bulawayo spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele revealed that bushy areas near the United College of Education (UCE) , Cowdray Park and Nkulumane suburbs had recorded a high number of cases.
The bushy area near UCE has become a rape hot spot, where police say at least five women are raped every month.
Assistant Inspector Msebele revealed women were also often raped at a section of Cowdray Park which is under construction.
“The bushy area near UCE has become a hot spot, a week hardly passes without a case of rape or robbery being recorded. We have also received a lot of rape cases from a section of Cowdray Park which is under construction. Some of the people live in houses without doors, as a result rapists pounce on them while they are sleeping and rape them and get away with their property,” she said.
She said the other contributing factor to the alarming cases of rape was leaving mentally challenged children with untrustworthy male relatives.
Assistant Inspector Msebele expressed worry at the shocking cases of rape.
“I can confirm that on average per month we receive 20 to 30 cases of rape in Bulawayo province which is saddening and shocking. I would like to urge members of the public to urgently make a police report within 72 hours when one of their relatives has been raped so that she can get post-exposure prophylaxis medication which helps to prevent one from getting pregnant or contracting HIV and other STIs,” she said.
She urged rape victims or their relatives to report early so that they get counselling. She discouraged people from using footpaths and leaving children with untrustworthy male guardians. B-Metro