A Bulawayo Boy Scout leader, Norman Scott, is facing allegations of having sexually abused boys for over 40 years. At least 5 victims who are now adults have come forward.
A statement by one of the victims says that Scott sodomized young boys in the 70s and could have done it to several other young boys in the city.
The Chronicle reports that allegations against Scott (aged 70) surfaced after a man in Bulawayo Neil Munro received disturbing information from his children who are boy scouts. His children told him Scott was in the habit of stripping naked in front of the boys, supposedly to encourage them to be comfortable with their bodies.
Munro said he confronted Scot Munro on the matter:
He claimed that he was no longer doing it. But how I got involved in all this is that following the Covid-19 lockdown, I sent my minor children to participate in boy scout activities. So, when my kids returned, they raised alarm over Scott’s conduct. But luckily my children were not abused. So, I confronted him over the issue of boys’ abuse and he claimed that he was no longer doing it although he admitted that he used to do it in the past.
Munro said he decided to take Scott to court so he would step down from involvement in boy scout activities.
With the matter going public 5 men came forward claiming Scott had sexually abused them when they were young boys. These alleged victims are based in Spain, another in South Africa, and Marondera, Zimbabwe.
Scott was then arrested at Matopo National Park and later released.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed Scott’s arrest:
I confirm that police arrested the suspect. We also have dockets where the prosecution has given instructions on what needs to be done in terms of medical reports. The prosecution has raised some concerns that some witnesses are not co-operating.
It is incumbent upon the complainants to co-operate with the courts. But all in all, the police have done their part and we call upon the complainants to comply with what is required by the courts.
Munro has expressed frustration that the case is not moving forward and that the victims who gave their statements are anxious for a court date and justice.
One of the victims, a 55-year-old man who participated in the scout activities in 1979 when he was 12 years, said his statement:
“The sexual acts happened at Gordon Park between the period 1979 to 1981 where Norman Scott would create an environment to be alone. Acts of sexual abuse included masturbation and oral sex on more than 10 occasions.
For the past 40 years, I have felt an overwhelming shame and guilt from being abused and allowing myself to be abused after the initial indecent assault. I have felt awful guilt of not reporting the sexual abuse when it happened, which undoubtedly allowed tens of boys to be abused over the next 40 years. I know I should not own the shame and guilt, but I do.