Sexual abuse and statutory rape a cause for concern at Ngozi dumpsite

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By Chrispen Tabvura
Woman2Woman Correspondent
Heavily pregnant under aged Sibongile at Ngozi dumpsite.

Bulawayo – In a bizarre case of extreme poverty, under aged girls between the age 12 and 13 are forced into sexual activities, in the name of appeasing the politics of the stomach.

The ongoing situation at Bulawayo’s main dumpsite, now popularly known as Ngozi Mine is a sorry situation that need both Government and divine intervention.

The recent visit and tour of Bulawayo’s largest dumpsite by Woman2Woman Magazine, situated between Richmond suburb and Cowdray Park Township, revealed chilling and cruel events taking place at the site. More than eight girls, of primary school going age and also under the age of 13 are heavily pregnant, and about to deliver anytime soon.

Dumpsite young mothers receiving food and clothes from Lions Club of Matopos last week. Photo by Chrispen Tabvura

Woman2Woman Magazine came face to face with one of the highest level of girl child abuse, but appearing to be taking place un- reported, or unnoticed, as the place is isolated. This Journalist managed to chat to one of the 13 year old Sibongile who has since given birth a few weeks, and she was in a terrified position to reveal how she got pregnant, and could only smile and say, “Indoda yami ikhona, uyodinga ukudla emashops.” Literally meaning, my husband is there, he has gone to buy something to eat, at the nearby Richmond shops.

Asked when she was born, she was quick to say 2001. “I was born in 2001, and dropped out of school, after the death of my mother. I had a tough time with my step mother leading me to look for alternative solutions to look after myself. I am now staying with this man who is buying me food and also cater for my upkeep, as my husband.” Said the visibly shaken girl.

The other two who were also heavily pregnant, were shy to relate their ordeals to Woman2Woman Magazine, as they looked dejected and hungry. The situation at Ngozi dumpsite, is an eye sour, and if the solution is not sought urgently, more children will be abused, as they fall prey to marauding men who can splash cash or food for sex.

This magazine, contacted both the nearby police stations, Luveve and Entumbane, for comment but was referred to police press and liaison office which kept promising to return with a comment, but to no avail. The situation that has become more political than social is caused by failure of Social Welfare Ministry to look into the situation affecting these people.

Efforts to get comment from Child line, an Organisation that deals with children’s issues on abuse, hit a brick wall, as they were also not forthcoming. Luveve Police victim friendly unit, promised to visit the dumpsite dwellers, to investigate, anytime soon, thereby breathing some air of hope for the out of hand situation at Ngozi.

Also following our previous article, a number of well-wishers, including Lions Club of Bulawayo Matopos have taken it upon themselves, to bring food stuffs and clothing for the dumpsite dwellers.

The lifestyle at the dumpsite, resemble that of the animal farm, where goats and dogs do not bother having sexual intercourses with any age. The same situation, is also taking place in Tsholotsho area of Dhlamini and Caunajena, where girls are getting married at the age of 13 and 14 respectively, with the blessings of their elders.

Several women who stay at the dumpsite, interviewed by this magazine, blame the government for failing to alleviate poverty, and also for doing very little in reviving industries, that caused them to live in the dumpsite area, as they cannot afford to pay rentals.

Many young girls staying at the dumpsite, are sleeping around for food and upkeep, with a good number of them almost highly exposed to deadly HIV and AIDS infections.

Story and pictures by Chrispen Tabvura, Email: christabvura@gmail.com

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