A man in Bulawayo allegedly dumped his wife and three children in the city centre on Thursday evening after collecting them from their rural home in Mt Darwin, CITE has learnt.
The woman (name withheld to protect the identity of the children) spent the night with her children, aged five, eight and 13 at a lawn outside a house in Malindela Suburb after the husband had left them stranded.
In an interview, the distraught woman informed CITE that they had left their rural home because her daughter had been raped by her brother-in-law and her mother-in-law was giving them grief for reporting the incident.
“My husband had been away from home for three years,” said the visibly stressed woman.
“He left coming to Bulawayo to seek employment. While he was away, his young brother raped my 13-year-old daughter. I reported the matter to the police and he was arrested. He is in remand as we speak.”
The women said after the rape incident, they moved out of her in-laws’ homestead and started staying on our own.
“My mother-in-law was not happy about the arrest of her son. She would always approach my daughter on her way from school and force her to tell the police that she was not raped,” she said.
The woman said her husband finally came home and he was alerted about the rape case.
“My mother-in-law then forced my husband to bring us with him to Bulawayo,” she said, adding her mother-in-law “claimed that we were causing a lot of havoc back at the village. This is how we ended up coming to Bulawayo.”
She added that she was against the idea but considered that for the safety of her daughter.
“I thought being away from the village would help her to be safer. I’m worried about her since the rape took place.”
The woman claimed when they arrived in Bulawayo, her husband took her cellphone, then departed pretending to go look for transportation but never returned.
“We arrived here in Bulawayo around 9pm and dropped off at Chicken Inn Tredgold. My husband took the sacks of maize and groundnuts that we brought and my cellphone, telling us to wait for him while he goes to look for transport to take us to his place of residence,” she said.
“We asked for help from people who were close by and they took us to Hillside Police Station. At the station, police said they could not help us because we do not know where my husband lives. We then wandered off in the night and settled here outside this yard.”
The woman said they spent the night outside.
“This is where we spent the night. Some Good Samaritan helped us with bread and drinks in the morning and they called the social welfare for us,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Department arrived at the scene, picked up the woman and her children, offering to help her find transportation to return them to their home in Mt Darwin.