TANZANIA Media Women's Association, Zanzibar (TAMWA- Zanzibar), has decried widespread rape cases against boys at the age of between 16 and 27 years despite the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus.
"We sincerely urge parents, guardians, religious leaders and law enforcement agencies to work jointly in reforming our children, it's highly disturbing to see a 16-year old boy charged with rape," TAMWA Zanzibar Director, Dr Mzuri Issa said in a statement.
According to Activists' Network, 10 rape cases were reported in various Shehias in Unguja and Pemba since Covid-19 was first reported in the Islands on March 17, 2020.
Eight incidents occurred in Pemba and two in Unguja.
North A District Network Chairman, Hafidh Muhammed Juma said a 16-year boy (name withheld), allegedly defiled an eight-year old girl at Mahonda on April 7, 2020.
He said the suspect, a neighbor to the victim, called the little girl, asking her to send him water in the toilet, but the child refused.
The suspect then forced the girl who was playing with other children into the toilet, covered her mouth before abusing her.
The network in collaboration with the victim's mother reported the case to the police, said the chairman.
Unguja South District Chairman of the network, Masoud Ame said 19-years old Issa Abdalla Abdalla allegedly abducted and raped a 17- year girl at Muyuni A.
He said the network took the girl to Makunduchi hospital for medical examination and reported the evil to Makunduchi police station.
Wete District Chairman of the network, Bakari Khamis Haji reported exposure of four rape and abduction incidences by 20-year old Said Ali Hussein who is accused of raping and abducting 17-year old girl while 18-year Anuari Faki Chande is alleged to have raped a 14-year girl at Mtemani area in the district.
The chairman further said 23-year old Nassir Khamis Ali allegedly raped 17-year girl at Kizimbani in Wete District, while Alawi Seif Salum (19), stands accused of raping 18- year old girl at Kipangani.
"Both cases have been reported to Wete police station, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, investigation is slow... we advise the victims' parents to patiently wait," said Mr Haji.
Other cases include 20- year old Nassor Issa Omar at Wambaa, in Pemba's Mkoani District and Nassor Yassin Dadi (26), accused of raping 15-year girl at Chokocho, also in Pemba's Mkoani district.
Mohamed Ali Abdalla (27) is alleged to have raped a 17- year girl at Mtambile area, in Mkoani District, while 20-year old Said Salum Ali allegedly raped 17-year girl at Mingani Mkoani District.
South Pemba Regional Police Commander (RPC), Makarani Ahmed said during the Covid-19 outbreak, sexual abuse cases, including rape and sodomy, were received but there is a legal process before arraigning the suspects in court.
TAMWA-Zanzibar has asked the government to put in place concrete measures to reform the behavior of young men to allow women and children to live peacefully and pursue their social and political goals.
"We ask the relevant authorities to urgently address these cases and impose stern penalties against the perpetrators," Dr Mzuri said, advising parents to closely guide their children, especially now that the community is more focused on dealing with coronavirus outbreak.