A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Entumbane suburb in Bulawayo allegedly fought off and bit an alleged rapist who was targeting her for the second time, police confirmed yesterday.

Bulawayo police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Precious Simango, said the incident occurred last Thursday at about 7AM while the woman, suspected to be a mental patient, was going to pray in the bush.

“We are investigating a rape case following the sexual violation of a 25-year-old woman in a bushy area between Emakhandeni and Entumbane suburbs. The woman is said to have been raped while she had gone to pray in the bush. It is alleged that the unknown suspect was targeting the woman for the second time. The suspect is alleged to have raped the woman on one occasion where he promised to give her $4 of which he did not give her,” said Chief Insp Simango.

“On Thursday, the unknown male adult followed the woman who was going for a prayer session and allegedly demanded sex. The woman is said to have refused leading to a scuffle between the two. The alleged rapist tried to force himself on her but she fought him off by biting one of his fingers. This suspect fled.”  

She said the victim reported the case to the police who have since launched an investigation into the matter. Chief Insp Simango warned members of the public, especially women, against going to pray in bushy areas alone.

“We strongly discourage women from walking into secluded places alone as this increases their risk of being attacked. It’s not the first time we are receiving a report of a woman being raped while going to pray in bushy areas. If ever one decides to pray in the bushy areas they should consider seeking the company of fellow congregants,” said Chief Insp Simango.

Open air worshipping is common with a religious sect popularly known as Amapostori and they usually conduct their prayer sessions in bushy areas. The rise in rape cases is now of concern in the city. Last week, a woman from Richmond suburb was raped and robbed of $200 bond notes in the presence of her three-year old daughter.chronicle