The grandmother of a 9-year-old Tsholotsho girl who recently gave birth at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has defended her detained son who was accused of raping and impregnating the girl – his daughter.
The 29-year-old was arrested on 29 August 2022 when it was discovered that the minor was pregnant.
The paternal grandmother of the girl said she was disturbed by accusations levelled against her son, saying as a family they had faced stigma within the community. The Sunday News cites her as saying:
My son was accused of evil things and I wonder where people got it from. I am surprised that there is a goblin that is being talked about, where is all that coming from? We are worried that such reports are being made. Do you know that I could not go to the well to fetch water in the village because of the stigma? I never attended school meetings because of the accusations against my son, all eyes were on us in this village. I am happy the truth is finally out that he did not rape his child.
When we were told of the bulging stomach, we assumed she was just sick, nothing more, we encouraged the mother to take her to hospital to seek help. We were not very shocked initially when the stomach bulged because we had never imagined that a child could get pregnant. So, we actually assumed other things like witchcraft, fibroids and not pregnancy. We even prayed so much and she got prayers from other people trying to assist the ‘sick’ child. We all never imagined that she could be pregnant hence it was discovered too late at seven months and there was nothing we could do about it.
There were reports that the minor girl had told counsellors that her father had told her that goblins would come in through the window at night and rape her, sentiments that have since been dismissed by the family.
Meanwhile, deoxyribonucleic acid tests (DNA) conducted last month confirmed that a 13-year-old boy impregnated his nine-year-old cousin.
The two families also belong to the same clan and they say there is no bad blood between the two families.
The paternal grandmother of the girl said she hoped the minor would be separated from the newly-born child since she still needs to return to school. She added that the girl would be given the baby back when she is old enough to understand what happened.