A Ntabazinduna family in Matabeleland North is living in fear after their 13-year-old daughter was allegedly held hostage by a relative, who is a teacher at a local school but managed to escape.
The incident happened on July 13, 2021.
This is the second time the family has had a family member go missing, after the latest victim’s mother also disappeared in 2010 when she was 26 years old at the time and is still to be accounted for.
Narrating the incident to CITE, a family member who cannot be identified to protect the victim’s identity said they fear that there will be another attempt to kidnap the girl.
“It was in the afternoon around 12pm when my uncle sent the child to take a rake so that they could work on the garden. She did not return and my uncle thought she had gone into the house,” the source narrated.
After failing to locate her in the house, the family then inquired with their close relatives if they had seen her but again she could not be located.
A search party was organised to try and locater her whereabouts.
“Towards the evening after we were all exhausted from searching for her, I informed my relatives that we were proceeding to report the matter to the police. When we were about to leave, I heard one of the neighbours screaming, when I went to where she was, I found the child we were looking for hiding in the shrubs.”
Upon being asked where she was, the girl said she had been kidnapped by two men and a woman but she had managed to escape.
They took her to the police station and she was referred to the clinic for a medical check.
“The nurse who had attended to her told us that she was fine and had confided in her that she had been kidnapped by unknown people.”
The source said they returned to the police station and the girl opened up to one of the police officers that she had been kidnapped by a relative who is a teacher at her school.
She had been threatened and instructed to lie about the identity of her kidnappers.
The police then suggested that the matter be dealt with within the family and inform them of the outcome.
“During the family meeting, the suspect denied all the allegations and our elders told us to not return to the police to give an update. However, a few days later, the police came home and told us that it was now a police case hence they are pursuing the issue,” she said.
The source said they were shocked the following day when an unfamiliar car parked close to their home and the occupants inquired about the whereabouts of the suspect kidnapper.
“We fear for the life of this child, as these days we are hearing stories of human trafficking, we feel her life is in danger. If we were not vigilant in searching for her maybe she could have disappeared just like her mother,” she said.
Efforts to get a comment from Matabeleland North police were not fruitful for the past four days as the police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda said he was in Harare on business.