By Tapiwa Machemedze
30-year-old Chipo Chisora (not her real name) has lived a life of agony.
After falling prey to rapists at an early age, Chipo has lived to see her daughter go through the same ordeal.
Her nine-year-old daughter (name withheld) was discovered to be 27 weeks pregnant on Wednesday at Bindura Provincial Hospital in a sad development that has shocked residents of the small mining town of Bindura.
The girl had been going to school as usual and the matter only came to light after alert school authorities noticed a bulge in her stomach and took her for medical tests.
Chisora is heartbroken and highlights her daughter began menstrual cycles at only nine months old.
‘Her situation was known, I told them at school that if they see her absent from school for four to five days she will be unwell. At the school, they now knew she had a problem so that’s what prompted them to detect all was not well, so the head of the school called and asked if I could allow them to take my child to hospital for examination. I asked if they could do that while I was away and they said if anyone was at home they could accompany the school authorities, so my brother was at home and I permitted them. They went to the hospital and they were told she was 27 weeks pregnant which is 7 months and some days, so that’s the situation,” she explained.
The mother’s anguish is exacerbated by the fact she has spent close to eight years going from hospitals, to apostolic sects, trying to stop her daughter’s early puberty.
“When she was nine months old, she started developing breasts and pubic hairs. She began to bleed and I visited the hospital in Marondera were I was staying and they told me she is normal since she is female. At 10 months, she started to develop a heavy flow. I told her father, but he did nothing. As her mother, I took her to a faith healer in Mufakose and he prayed for her because I believed she had been bewitched. The menstrual cycles stopped for six months.”
She recalls visiting ZBC radio station to try and get assistance for her daughter and later travelling to Mozambique to see a traditional healer who temporarily healed her.
“During lockdown days, I took my daughter to Radio Zimbabwe and aired her plight on a show by Tarisai with a view to get help and she got help. I was referred to Mozambique to see Sekuru Chiyokoto a traditional healer who is now late and my hope was to reduce her stomach size. My target was for her body size to be reduced, she had a big body and her stomach stopped growing for two weeks,” narrated Chipo.
The quest to get her daughter healed never stopped with constant visits to churches and faith based healers until the bleeding stooped. Chisora never suspected her daughter had been raped until alert school authorities at Kambira School decided to take her for tests on Wednesday morning.
The visit opened a can of worms with the girl’s uncle Luke Chisora (not his real name) who accompanied the teachers to the school attesting they are still trying to grapple with the news they received.
“With the news I received, I am touched. The girl’s mother, my sister was raped when she was young, my own daughter was raped and now it has happened in the family again.”
Medical tests revealed the child is in a breech position in the nine-year-old girl’s womb, giving the family more worry over the minor’s health.
Zimbabwe Republic Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said two juveniles have been arrested on charges of rape.
“The ZRP is investigating the case of a 9-year-old girl who was raped by two suspects aged 17-years-old and she has now been established to be pregnant and this is really sad, this is really shocking so we are conducting investigations,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
The incident follows the recent case of a Tsolotsho girl who gave birth three days ago after falling pregnant at the same age of nine years. The two incidents have raised much concern in social circles over what has become of modern day society.