Desire Ncube recently in Chimanimani
At 13 one becomes a teenager. It is the start of preparation for adulthood, a time of many physiological, hormonal and social changes.
But there are also myths surrounding number 13.
At the Last Supper, there were 13 people and one of them was Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.
As such, some people fear 13 – a condition known as triskaidekaphobia. In some countries, hotels and tall buildings omit table, room and floor 13 because it is associated with bad luck.
At 13, Ruvarashe Musasa (not her real name) finds herself immensely burdened.
She is the victim of parental neglect, disability, lack of education, mental illness, and rape – the last of which has seen her presently nursing a premature baby.
While other Grade Seven pupils are preparing for national examinations next term, Ruvarashe is being a mother.
She was raped by her uncle when she lived at her maternal grandparents’ home in Chayamiti village, Chimanimani.
The uncle is serving a three-year jail sentence at Chipinge Prison.
Ruvarashe was recently admitted at Mutambara Mission Hospital, Nhedziwa village in Chimanimani, after giving birth in her grandmother’s kitchen hut.
Her grandfather, Sekuru Dziva Musasa, is a bitter man. With his wife, Sekuru Musasa has taken care of Ruvarashe since she was a toddler after being abandoned by her mother, who is now said to be living in Masvingo. The girl’s father is unknown.
To Sekuru Musasa, Ruvarashe is like her own child and he is not happy with the sentence her abusive uncle received.
In an emotional interview with The Sunday Mail at his homestead last week, he said while he was no law expert, he “strongly feels that justice was not delivered”.
“The police told us that we are not allowed to attend the trial as witnesses. We only got to know of the sentence after my son, who is in Mvuma, made numerous inquiries with the police.”
Ruvarashe’s abuse came to light after villagers informed her guardians about their granddaughter’s “unusual behaviour”.
The victims’ grandmother, Ambuya Margaret Musasa, said Ruvarashe told her that she was threatened with death by her abuser if she ever mentioned it to anyone.
“She told me the sexual abuse had been going on since around May last year when the abuser started staying with us,” said Ambuya Musasa.
“The day we reported the matter to the police, they appeared reluctant to arrest the perpetrator. The police even suggested we bring him to their base, but he was eventually arrested after we insisted.”
When the pregnancy was discovered it was in its later stages, rendering termination impossible.
Sekuru Musasa said, “She is disabled and mentally challenged. The uncle took advantage of her, but I know God will fight for her. Ruvarashe has no birth certificate and the new child will also look up to me.”
A visit to Mutambara Mission Hospital to speak to Ruvarashe was fruitless as authorities barred access to the girl.
However, a source at the hospital said Ruvarashe and the baby were stable.
“The baby is doing well. When the baby was admitted, the child weighed 1,7kg and she is now nearing 2kg. The mother is also in good condition,” said the source.
Sekuru Musasa believes children are a gift from God and is asking for support to look after his granddaughter and great granddaughter.
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