Masvingo province has recorded a significant increase in cases of juvenile rape.
The Acting Officer commanding police in Masvingo, Assistant Commissioner, Taonei Nyazema said there was a need to carry out awareness campaigns in a bid to reduce the cases.
In most rape cases the perpetrators are close relatives.
“Rape victims amongst adults comprise of 153 in the year 2019. In 2018 149 cases were recorded. 315 cases involving juveniles were recorded yet 293 were recorded the previous year,” he said.
Chiredzi has the highest cases of rape in the province amongst minors.
“It is worrisome to note that we have an upsurge in rape cases in our province. The worst affected area is Chiredzi district where we have recorded a lot of rape cases and juveniles constituted the bulk of the victims of rape.”
Cases amongst juveniles in the country are also being attributed to the water crisis.
Women Coalition of Zimbabwe’s Chairperson of the Health Sector for the Masvingo cluster said that children are being raped as they go to water points.
“Water has been a problem in the community, we are seeing ourselves working up late at night having to fill up buckets and that is if the water comes back. We might go for week without water and have to go to fetch water from the borehole, this has led to our daughters being raped as they travel late to fetch water,” she said.
Rape in Chiredzi is also rampant due to cultural practices in the area.