An Early Childhood Development student teacher allegedly raped a Grade Seven pupil in a classroom at Nyamandlovu Primary School.
Lovemore Tshuma, a former police officer who is popularly known as Mrabaraba in the area, is alleged to have raped two people on separate occasions, the pupil as well as a woman whose husband worked for him.
Tshuma is allegedly on the run after escaping from police custody.
The Chronicle visited Nyamandlovu at the weekend and spoke to villagers about the cases.
Chief Deli said he was told during a meeting with villagers that Tshuma had raped the girl and another woman.
“I am still waiting for police to come and officially notify me of the issue. I heard councillors and villagers saying he escaped from police custody hence the numerous roadblocks set up to try and apprehend him,” said Chief Deli.
“I understand that he raped a pupil from the primary school though I am yet to get the fuller details. Tshuma disappeared and it seems no one knows where he is.”
He said when Tshuma was questioned by other villagers about the first rape incident, he openly said he was no longer in control of his sexual desires.
“When he was asked to explain why he raped his worker’s wife, Tshuma said something was forcing him to do such things. I do hope that police will get to the bottom of this,” said Chief Deli.One of the villagers, Ms Margaret Sibanda, said Tshuma had become the talk of the village as he was seemingly untouchable.
She said circumstances around his alleged escape from police custody were suspicious.
“It is such cases that push us to support the deployment of closed circuit television (CCTV) in schools to monitor teachers,” said Ms Sibanda.
“He was a student at United College of Education and we looked up to him in this society. Now we are even scared for our children as he may reappear from nowhere and pounce on them.”
Matabeleland North provincial education director Mrs Boithathelo Mnguni said she received a report on Tshuma’s alleged criminal cases.
“Unfortunately he is not employed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education hence I cannot comment. I’m yet to get finer details but I’m sure his college will do investigations and act on the matter,” said Mrs Mnguni.
Matabeleland North provincial policeman spokesperson Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said the case was reported to the police, but she did not have finer details as she was out of office.
“I’m out of the office and will check with the respective police station for details,” said Insp Makonese.
Prosecutors at Tredgold in Bulawayo confirmed that Tshuma was up for rape although he did not appear before a magistrate.
“The rape charges were dropped before the trial could start. Tshuma and his victim decided to settle the matter out of court and we hear he gave her one beast to drop the charges.
“The woman consented and dropped the charges before the trial could begin,” said one prosecutor who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Source – Chronicle