FEMALE residents in an area popularly known as Dark City in Bulawayo’s Emganwini suburb are living in fear of being mugged and raped while fetching firewood from a farm about 5km from the suburb as the area has gone 10 years without electricity.
A 44-year-old woman, who only identified herself as Dube, narrated the ordeal most women in the area have been going through when she visited Southern Eye offices last Thursday.
Dube said she and her 27-year-old daughter were attacked by a man they encountered while returning home from fetching firewood.
“We had just finished fetching firewood and were heading home when a tall slim man, dark in complexion, appeared from some nearby bushes and stood behind us,” Dube said.
“We greeted him, but he just kept quiet. Since he was coming from behind us, we thought he wanted to pass so we made way for him, but he did not pass.
“When we realised that the man was after us, we threw the firewood to the ground and ran, but the man grabbed me by the collar of my jacket and pushed me to the ground.
“My daughter, who was screaming hysterically, grabbed the axe we used for firewood and hit the man at the back of his neck and he fell,” she said.
Dube said her daughter helped her up and they ran for their lives, but the man continued pursuing them since they were still deep in the bush.
She said the man who appeared hurt, then disappeared into the bushes after a while and they managed to escape to safety. Dube who sustained facial and a leg injuries during the attack told Southern Eye that she was still nursing her wounds.
In a similar incident, a 37-year-old woman, who identified herself as Mai Fadzi, said she was fetching firewood in the same bush when a man approached her claiming to be a council ranger.
He told her she was under arrest for illegally fetching firewood in the area.
She said the man asked her to follow him and then after a while he pushed her to the ground and ordered her to comply with his demands or he would kill her.
“When we had walked for some minutes, he suddenly pushed me to the ground and ordered me to comply with his request while rubbing my breasts,” Mai Fadzi said.
“I screamed and begged him to let me go, but he kept threatening to kill me. Fortunately for me, four women who were also fetching firewood, appeared and the man fled before he could rape me,” she added.