School campaigns target abuse of boys 

Source: School campaigns target abuse of boys | The Herald

School campaigns target abuse of boys
Asst Comm Nyathi

Crime Reporter 

Police are engaging the Government to roll out awareness campaigns in schools and communities following the recent unearthing of a syndicate of child molesters that were targeting schoolboys.

Investigations revealed that the syndicate, which involves some top businesspeople, targets both boarding and day pupils. 

Last week, police uncovered the syndicate after they found a 16-year-old Mbare boy who had been missing since June in Bulawayo. 

He was found by detectives from the CID Homicide section following intensive investigations that tracked down the teenager to Bulawayo on Wednesday. He has since been reunited with his parents.

Police have arrested Emmanuel Chatikobo alias Lemmie Gwaku (48), believed to be a businessman who operates some mines. He has since appeared in court.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said efforts were being made to engage the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and other relevant organisations concerning the matter.

He said they also want school authorities to assist.

Asst Comm Nyathi said it was sad to note that the future of children was at stake following the sexual attacks by such molestation syndicates targeting them.

“The recent case has opened up something which the police were not even aware of. It has opened up our eyes on some of the secret dealings which are currently taking place in society. 

 We have discovered that this group is targeting school children. This group has some people who are well up, some people who are well up and some people who live in some of these plush suburbs,” he said.

Asst Comm Nyathi said they will also embark on awareness campaigns in schools and communities to urge people to be wary of these syndicates.

In July, a Harare man, who allegedly kidnapped the Mbare boy, also appeared before the courts, but Richard Padzarondora died in prison before trial.

However, he is now believed to have lured the boy into his car on June 29.

The boy allegedly left home going to Mbare High School to verify his 2021 Ordinary Level registration, before Padzarondora phoned and asked to meet him in the central business district. 

The State said that after the conversation, the boy’s phone was switched off. Prosecutors further alleged that there was proof of communication showing Padzarondora had lured the boy to meet him in town. There was a witness who introduced the boy to Padzarondora, adding that Padzarondora was the last person to be seen with him.

After failing to locate the boy, his parents reported the matter at Mbare Police Station, leading to Padzarondora’s arrest.

In a twist of events, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said when the Mutare boy met Padzarondora, he surrendered the boy to Chatikobo, believed to be gay.

Chatikobo is alleged to have taken the boy to Crowhill area in Harare where he detained him for four days before giving him US$80 cash, which the boy then used to travel to Bulawayo where he has been staying.

The boy had met both Padzarondora and Chatikobo through social media.