Zim Diaspora

Aug 18th
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Shock: 9-year-old tells magistrate of bizarre prostitution experiences

A nine-year-old Zimbabwean girl has told a Zimbabwean court how she was forced into having sex with 17 men by his grandmother and aunt, The Zim Diaspora, can reveal.

The girl yesterday gave evidence in camera and stunned a packed gallery with revelations of the life she had been living and her declaration that one of the men who allegedly raped her should die in jail.

The girl narrated how her grandmother and aunt forced her into prostitution. She said this much to the astonishment of Marondera regional magistrate Ms Gladys Pise

 The granny is aged 57 while the aunt is 25 years old. The two, who were represented by Mr Batanai Pesanai of IEG Musimbe and Partners, pleaded not guilty.

 They are accused of forcing the girl into prostitution and in the process she was raped by at least 17 men — one of them her uncle — whom she says she knows by name.

 Six of the men have been arrested and are facing rape charges.

 Under direct examination by Ms Barbara Mabika, the minor said the abuse started when she was in Grade 1 in 2007 when her aunt started teaching her how to behave during intercourse.

 She said: "Auntie would bring some of the men home and told me to do exactly as she did.

 "We would all take off our clothes together with the men whilst in the same room and have sex side by side with auntie.

 "This happened since I was in Grade 1 until I was supposed to start Grade 4 this year when I relocated to stay with my father in Harare."

 She said she drank alcohol often and at one point got so drunk that they stripped naked in public.

 She said her grandmother was paid in cash, or in the form of rabbits, chickens, maize meal, and at one time she was given a bush buck.

 The girl said she was taken to a traditional healer named Henry who gave them herbs for abortions, contraception and for luck.

 The minor alleged she was instructed never to run away from a man but instead lure him.

 Prosecutor Ms Mabika asked her: "What would you say if I put it to you that everything you have just told this court is a lie?"

 She confidently replied in Shona: "Everybody (from my home area) knows that I slept with men and drank alcohol.

 "You can ask them to come and they will tell you the same thing. Even the village head knows."

 She then said one of her clients deserved to die in prison. Under Zimbabwe’s laws, if a woman helps a man commit rape she too is charged for the same crime.

 Defence lawyer Mr Pesanai unsuccessfully sought postponement of the case arguing that he had only received the State outline that morning.

 Ms Pise threw out the application after the prosecution countered that Mr Pesanai had never asked for the outline since the accused engaged his services in early August.

 Ms Mabika told the court that the grandmother and aunt used to live with the complainant.

 She said they on several occasions forced her to have sex for money and food.

 The alleged abuse came to light in January this year when the girl started staying with her father and stepmother in Harare.

 The minor told her stepmother that she was used to a life of drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco and having sex.

 She implicated her grandmother and aunt as having initiated her into prostitution and pointed out that she remembered 17 of the men she had slept with.

 Ms Pise remanded the two in custody to Monday next week when Mr Pesanai is expected to cross-examine the minor.