Residents of Area W location in Francistown have expressed concern about a certain prominent politician who they accuse of sexually harassing young girls in their location.
Speaking during a kgotla meeting addressed by Francistown East MP, Buti Billy last week, Ward Development Committee Chairperson, Benjamin Nkhwa said young girls are now living in fear because of the old man who is eager to sexually molest them. “I am not at liberty to reveal the perpetrator’s name but he is very popular here,” Nkhwa lamented. He added, “Our children are vulnerable to this unscrupulous and monstrous man who goes around our location promising to buy young girls expensive cell phones in return for sexual favours.”
According to Nkhwa, the suspect targets young girls who are left alone at home during the day. Nkhwa noted that the perpetrator promises his victims’ all manner of luxuries, throwing into the mix, visits to upmarket restaurants in the city. “Nowadays, our children are well built at a tender age and the suspect fails to control his emotions. This is totally unacceptable in our society and such behaviour should be condemned,” Nkhwa charged.
The Chairman indicated that he has received a report from concerned parents that the said politician sexually harassed their child recently. He highlighted that the child is traumatized and lives in fear after the incident. “Billy please do something about this issue, we are really concerned about the safety of our children in our area. The suspect comes to harass our children under the guise of being a politician and a leader who should be a role model to the youth,” the community leader explained.
In response, Billy concurred with Nkhwa that sexual harassment of children is a great concern, even to government. “The recently released report from the police has indicated that rape cases are on the rise. So far, the police have registered 50 cases of rape since the beginning of this year,” Billy explained. The legislature noted that rape is a very horrendous crime as it affects victims psychologically and emotionally. Billy expressed optimism that such cases will drastically reduce after the penal code was recently amended. According to Billy, the penal code has been aligned with the Children’s Act which stipulates that under 18 teenagers are regarded as children who cannot consent to have sexual intercourse.
Billy said many paedophiles have been hiding behind the contradiction between the Children’s Act and the penal code as they walked free after molesting young girls who are under 18 years of age.