In a tragic turn of events, Tatenda Zhanje, a 22-year-old resident of Glenwood, has been formally charged by the police for engaging in sexual activities with a minor.
Zhanje stands accused of repeatedly raping and impregnating his niece, Yeukai Dandara, when she was just 15 years old.
Shockingly, Yeukai recently passed away due to complications arising from childbirth, leaving a community mourning and demanding justice.
The funeral ceremony for the young victim took place on Wednesday in Dandara village, Murehwa, where friends, family, and members of the community gathered to pay their respects.
Meanwhile, the police have announced that they will continue their investigations into this horrific case once Zhanje returns from the burial.
Acting Harare provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Faith Mapisa, shed light on the charges against Zhanje, stating, “Police arrested a Glenwood man for having sexual intercourse with a young person as defined in Section 70 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.”
According to Hmetro, Zhanje was taken into custody, where he provided a warned and cautioned statement admitting to the offense.
However, Zhanje was temporarily released to attend the funeral, with an obligation to report back to the Epworth Police Station for further investigations.
The authorities are determined to gather all the necessary evidence to ensure a fair and thorough investigation into this horrifying case.
During their preliminary investigations, the police discovered that the deceased victim, Yeukai Dandara, began cohabiting with the accused, who was 21 years old at the time, in Glenwood, Epworth, in April 2023.
Yeukai, who was 15 years old when this abusive relationship began, reportedly ran away from her parents in Murehwa to be with Zhanje.
According to Assistant Inspector Mapisa, “The now deceased started staying with the accused person as husband and wife. The now deceased and the complainant had consensual sex on several occasions until the now deceased fell pregnant.”
The shocking revelation highlights the profound power imbalance and manipulation inherent in this deeply disturbing relationship.
On January 10, Yeukai gave birth to twins at Sally Mugabe Hospital through a surgical procedure.
However, the young mother’s health deteriorated, and she developed complications related to the operation.
She was readmitted to Sally Mugabe Hospital on January 24, where she tragically succumbed to these complications.
The entire community has been left stunned and heartbroken by the untimely death of Yeukai Dandara.
Calls for justice and stricter measures to protect minors from such heinous acts have been amplified as this case has come to light.
The police are determined to ensure that all those responsible for this appalling crime are held accountable.
As the investigation continues, the focus remains on gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and collaborating with relevant authorities to ensure justice is served.
The case has not only exposed the vulnerability of minors but also the urgent need for comprehensive education and support systems to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.