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Rape Cases Surge Despite Dip in General Crime

Police say while the general rate of crime is on the downturn, cases of juvenile rape are rising at an alarming level.

Speaking at a graduation of officers in Harare on Thursday, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri said rape cases of young girls increased from 1,384 last year to 1,494 this year.

"I wish to point out that crime in general went down by 14 percent from 168 687 cases reported between January and May 2013 to 144 491 cases recorded during the same period in 2014," he said.

"It is however disturbing to note that cases of rape involving juveniles increased as 1,494 cases were recorded between January and May 2014 compared to 1,384 cases received during the same period last year."

Chihuri decried the development saying a concerted effort was needed to fight sexual crimes.

He also took a swipe at members of the Johane Masowe Apostolic sect for assaulting law enforcement agents last month.

Lawmaker and women’s rights activist, Thabitha Khumalo, expressed shock at the rape statistics.