VILLAGERS in Inyathi are living in fear after an unidentified man ambushed at least five women in two weeks and assaulted them before raping his victims.
According to a villager whose wife was raped, the assailant was armed with a machete and a steel wire armoured cable.
“We believe the man is a korokoza (gold panner) from another place. My wife was ambushed just last week and the man took out his machete before ordering her to move to a bushy place and instructed her to lie down and he raped her,” he said.
Another woman who was raped narrated her ordeal.
“I was in the bush fetching firewood. A man with blood-shot eyes appeared and instantly pointed me to move towards trees. I refused. The man whipped me with a piece of cable all over the body. I fractured a leg and sustained injuries on the head and eye,” she said.
She said her attacker dragged her to a nearby bush and raped her.
A village head, Lovemore Khanye, confirmed the incident.
“We are troubled by a man who is wreaking havoc in the area as he goes around carrying a machete and a cable that he uses to attack women before raping them. So far I have received many cases of women who were either raped or assaulted. As a result we are appealing to police to intervene and help us catch this criminal,” he said.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said since the incidents police had intensified patrols and awareness campaigns.
“We have received a spate of rape cases from Inyathi. Our fear is that such cases will lead to murder, as a result we are intensifying patrols. We are also appealing to churches to roll out information to women and the girl child to create awareness. In addition to that we will be carrying out raids; anyone who will be found with a weapon will be arrested,” she said.