School at Mzindakaya Secondary School in Kaengesa village, Sumbawanga District, in Rukwa Region, are being raped by unknown people who intrude in their rooms at night but they are too ashamed to report the ugly incidents.
Investigations carried out by the ‘Daily News’ recently reveal that the victims are girl students renting rooms in the village who have been attacked and raped at night while they are sleeping in their rooms by unknown assailants who take advantage of the dilapidated condition of the rented houses.
The suspected culprits are young men from within and outside the region who have migrated in large numbers to the village reportedly to steal fuel from contractors rehabilitating a section of the Laela-Sumbawanga road to tarmac level.
This paper has also established that most the girls at the school are forced to rent rooms at a cheap price of 1,000/- per month because their parents or guardians are too poor to accommodate them at the school’s two hostels.
A cross-section of the school girls who were interviewed by this newspaper recently at the school confessed that there were a number of rape cases which went unreported because the victims felt too ashamed to reveal the barbaric acts .
The victims instead opt to undergo treatment secretly without the knowledge of even their parents and guardians.
“Our future now is very grim , we are living in fear, particularly at night when we sleep in our rented rooms as at any time unknown assailants will break into our rooms and rape us .
“Though each one of us has rented a room, at night, for fear of being attacked sexually, we have resolved to share rooms,” they said. The school’s second mistress, Ms Agatha Okumu, admitted that there were several rape cases which went unreported because the schoolgirls were ashamed of reporting them.
So far only three cases have been reported, one of which happened in May, this year, when three girls were attacked and raped at night, but fortunately the suspect was arrested and hauled to court .
“The rooms in which our girls live in the village are in bad shape and unsafe for them, which makes it easy for potential rapists to intruder at night,” she said.
According to her, the latest grisly incident occurred last week when two school girls were raped in turn by unknown people breaking into their room, following which a form four student committed suicide the following day by swallowing poison.
For his part, the school’s headmaster, Mr Nicholas Thomas, said parents and guardians were too poor to contribute two bags of maize, a tin of beans and 40,000/- in cash, being the total cost of accommodating a school girl at the school’s hostel per term.