Girl (12) escapes from jaws of kidnappers

Crime Reporter

Police in Harare have launched a manhunt for three unknown assailants in a blue Toyota Hiace who kidnapped a 12-year-old girl, while she was looking for transport near a primary school in Eastlea last Friday.

She managed to escape from the three men after they had parked the vehicle in the Hillside area and hid in a nearby maize field.

A report was later made to the police.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the kidnapping was around 1pm at the main gate of a primary school in Eastlea.

“The victim was dragged into the suspects’ vehicle while looking for transport from school to Ruwa. The victim managed to escape and hid in a maize field after the suspects had parked the vehicle at an unknown place in Hillside.

“Anyone with information should report at any nearest police station,” he said.

In July last year, two Mutoko men were arrested on allegations of kidnapping four pupils and taking them to a mountain and stripping them.

The children, who attended Mudzonga Primary School, were aged between six and nine.

They were kidnapped on their way home after school and Tapiwa Munetsi (20) and Tatenda Obey Mutize (30) were then picked up by police.

Preliminary investigations revealed that on July 6, 2022, at around 3pm, Munetsi met three girls and one boy who were walking home.

He reportedly accused the children of having picked up an undisclosed amount of money that he claimed to have lost. He then took them to a nearby mountain on the pretext that he was taking them to the police.

While on the mountain, he stripped the children naked before taking them to a bushy area near his home about 8km from the school.

Along the way, one of the girls escaped and alerted her parents, leading to a search by villagers who found the other three children.

Munetsi tried to escape and was later arrested while hiding at his home.

Upon questioning, Munetsi implicated Mutize as the one who had sent him to look for children who are in Grade 5 and below.

The victims were then referred to Mutoko District Hospital for medical examination.

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