A 12-YEAR-OLD pupil at one of the primary schools in Mt Pleasant, Harare, has been forced to drop out of school after falling pregnant at Grade 6 level.
The development comes amid concerns by the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of the Children (ZNCWC) of increasing cases of child abuse in the country.
According to the girl’s aunt, the Grade 6 pupil, who is now over six months pregnant, used to be picked up from school by the culprit whose identity has been withheld since the culprit is yet to be brought before the courts to face justice.
The girl’s guardian who stays at a house along Robin Place, Mt Pleasant in Harare, confirmed to NewsDay yesterday that the matter was being handled by Marlborough Police Station. But she failed to locate the Criminal Reference Number of the matter which the police also declined to supply.
“I can confirm the girl that you are looking for was raped and we reported the matter to the police at Marlborough Police Station. We are waiting for the police to investigate the matter,” the girl’s aunt said.
Asked to shed more light on what actually transpired, the woman said: “I do not want to talk much to the media, the girl is an orphan, she lost both parents and someone used to pick her up from school and abuse her.”
ZNCWC national director Taylor Nyanhete yesterday urged the police to quickly act on the matter arguing the child’s future had been destroyed and that the perpetrator should be brought to book.
“The issue of child abuse is a cause for concern. This is why tomorrow (today) we are going to hold a march for what we are calling Zero Tolerance Against Child Abuse and it is against such background that we are calling on the law enforcement agents to be strict with perpetrators of such offences,” Nyanhete said.
“It’s good that the matter was reported to the police and parents or guardian must desist from a culture of out-of-court settlement in cases where children would have been abused.”
When NewsDay visited the primary school (name withheld) which is situated near the University of Zimbabwe, the deputy headmistress Stella Tsakai Mathe professed ignorance over the matter, saying she had been on vacation leave.
“I am not aware of that incident if it happened at all and I am hearing it from you the media people for the first time.
“I have not been here for some time because I was away on vacation leave. The headmaster would have been in a better position to comment had he been around, but he is away attending a workshop,” Mathe said.
Statistics from the Zimbabwe Republic Police show that at least 240 children were being sexually abused monthly in the country. At least 27% of the reported cases were perpetrated by neighbours while 41% were being perpetrated by relatives.