Rape cases of female  vendors on the rise: Police

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has warned women into vending and those commuting at night to be on the lookout for rapists who have unleashed a reign of terror.

In a notice published on their Twitter account on Monday, ZRP cautioned female vendors to be on the lookout for thuggish assailants who allegedly pretend to be customers, then lure the women into secluded places, before raping them.

“We have noted with concern a trend where women involved in vending are waylaid into bushy areas or other secluded places where they are later raped,” ZRP said. 

The ZRP said female vendors are also being targeted by the muggers who pretend to have lucrative deals and flaunt cash in hand.
“The assailant(s) pretend they want to buy wares in bulk and offer seemingly lucrative deals to lure the unsuspecting victims.

“We are urging members of the public to be wary of people who want to conduct business with them at secluded places,” the law enforcement agency said.  
And the police warned the perpetrators were also targeting school children. 

“It is prudent to escort school children to and from school so that they do not fall victim to paedophiles.” ZRP urged members of the public to avoid using bushy areas as they “continue to record cases of rape from such places.” 

This comes as Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) reported a sharp increase in rape cases.
Another report estimated that one woman is raped every hour, while 24 are raped every day.

Last year, ZRP revealed several cases of rape and robbery and in another case the police arrested four men who had robbed a 19-year-old woman of $2 000 from her tuck-shop in Mt Hampden.

The watchdog’s petrifying alert to the members of the public comes at a time when vendors have increased in and around the central business districts throughout the country.

As the economy continues to nosedive, vendors have also increased in number owing to the flourishing informal sector which has become the largest employer in the country.

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