Dad rapes daughter (7) at knifepoint

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
a 42-year-old Harare man yesterday appeared in court for raping his seven-year-old daughter at knifepoint for four months in the presence of her sibling. The man (name withheld to protect the identity of the victim) was charged with rape when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.

He was denied bail and ordered to approach the High Court for the application. Mr Makomo remanded the man in custody and ordered him to come back to court on April 25 for trial commencement. Allegations are that since January 2016, the man slept in the same room with the minor and her sibling.

The court heard that from January, the man started raping the minor at midnight in the presence of her sibling. It is the State’s case that the accused raped the girl almost everyday since January 2016 up to an unknown date in April. It is alleged that he threatened to fatally stab the minor with a knife if she revealed the offence to anyone or reported him to the police.

The court heard that the matter came to light when the minor ran away from home and reported the matter to the police leading to her father’s arrest. Meanwhile, Ellah Mukwati reports that there has been an increase in cases of child abuse countrywide and there is need to protect children against violence.

National Association of Social Workers president Mr Aaron Zinyanya said this yesterday during a meeting with the media on International Day for Social Workers commemorations. Mr Zinyanya said social workers had done a lot in terms of raising awareness on child abuse.

“Abuse, according to the recent records, has increased within our communities. We have been raising awareness among the people as social workers and we have done a lot of interventions supporting those who have been abused,” he said.

“We also have social workers in hospitals, prisons, private sector and civil society protecting and supporting people and families. The social workers in the different areas deal with social problems and have come up with different projects that help in terms of livelihood in the communities.”

Mr Zinyanya said World Social Workers Day was set aside by the United Nations 33 years ago. “In Zimbabwe we started to commemorate the day in 2012 and after that we have been commemorating it annually. So this year marks our fifth year of the commemorations.”

He said the day was celebrated as a realisation that social work had a critical role in the promotion of social and economic equalities and in striving for a people focused and regulated economy.

The commemorations will be held at the School of Social Work on Friday in Harare and the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Cde Prisca Mupfumira will officiate. This year’s commemorations run under the theme “Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples Focusing on Refugees and Displaced Persons”.

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