Pirate taxi drivers and driving school instructors in Marondera are topping the list of men who are sexually exploiting young girls after luring them with money.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
This was revealed at a workshop held in Marondera on Tuesday to mark 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). A representative of the Police Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) said several young girls were falling prey to the sex predators.
“We receive a lot of cases of sexual abuse from young girls who most of them are being sexually exploited by mushikashika drivers or driving schools instructors in this town. This is because they lure young girls with money. However, we are having a challenge that the GBV victims are reluctant to lay charges and some even reveal that they consented to sex,” the VFU police officer said.
According to latest statistics by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), about one in three women aged 15 to 49 in Zimbabwe have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
More than 6 700 girls dropped out of school in the country last year after they fell pregnant or entered into unintended marriages, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Of these drop-outs, 367 were in primary school, while 6 419 were in secondary school.
During the workshop, the police revealed that most GBV cases are being reported by third parties and not the victims themselves, which makes it difficult to successfully prosecute the cases.
The workshop was organised by Women and Law in Southern Africa among other stakeholders.