SEVERAL girls were raped in separate incidents countrywide while they were celebrating Christmas Day and Boxing Day holidays at parties and gatherings.
Police expressed concern over such cases saying most of those that were raped were mostly aged between 13 and 17.
Some of the suspected rapists have since been arrested while others are still at large.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said it was worrying to note that most of such cases occurred during the night, while some of the victims were walking alone in secluded areas.
“The ZRP appeals to members of the public to act responsibly and avoid over-excitement as people celebrate the New Year.
“It is disturbing to note that some rape cases, especially those involving the girl child, were recorded in several parts of the country as children joined adults in celebrating Christmas at parties and other gatherings.
“The public is however, reminded that public gatherings such as parties are banned under Covid-19 regulations except weddings, funerals and church services. These authorised gatherings are restricted to 100 or less people. No to rape cases during the holidays,” he said.
In one of the cases, a 17-year-old girl was raped during a Christmas party in Gwanda after she was dragged into a bushy area. The girl was raped three times by a 39-year-old suspect who has since been arrested.
Police said in Esigodini, a 15-year-old girl was raped by an unknown assailant at Mawabeni Business Centre after she was force marched into a nearby bushy area.
Another 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped in the same area after she was offered a lift by an unknown man from Mbalabala to Mawabeni Business Centre.
The girl, who was in the company of her 15-year-old friend, boarded the assailant’s vehicle who later stopped at a secluded place. It is alleged that the man then forcibly grabbed the victim before dragging her into a bushy area where he raped her once.
The two were also robbed of a cellphone and R100.
Two more girls aged 14 and 13 were raped in separate incidents in Mabvuku and Southlea Park while they were walking alone during the night.
Investigations are still in progress.
Meanwhile, police in Harare are investigating a case of suspected murder in which a man aged around 36 was found dead with a stab wound on the chest at Town Centre Garden in Chitungwiza last Wednesday.
Police in Chiredzi are also investigating another suspected murder case in which a 51-year-old farmer was found inside his vehicle with doors closed but unlocked on December 20. Recently, police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said police officers would be deployed to curb robbery, murder, rape, stock theft and unlawful entry cases.