WOMEN’S rights groups have demanded for the severe punishment of a Chibombo-based Seventh Day Adventist Church elder who forcefully defiled a 14-year old girl resulting in pregnancy.

According to reports, last April elder Hanga’andu is said to have requested one of his blind female church members to allow her teenage twin daughters to help clean his house, a request that was granted.

However, shock gripped the community when the 14 year old girl was recently discovered to be two months pregnant and on being quizzed revealed that she had been raped by elder Hanga’andu when she went to clean his house.

The victim said on the material day, the elder asked her and her twin sister to accompany him to his house so they could help him clean his house.

She narrated that upon arrival, the two sisters started cleaning the kitchen and that when her sister went to clean the living room, the elder asked her to go and sweep the bedroom after locking the doors to the house.

“He dragged me to his bedroom, undressed me, and started defiling me. My sister heard and she came to the bedroom but he did not stop and he had locked the door. After he got tired, he took two sharp knives and threatened to kill me and my sister if I told anyone about what happened. He even phoned people and told them that they should be watching us and inform him if we told anyone. We got scared and just kept it to ourselves,” the victim narrated.

She said after sometime, she started getting sick and she did not see her period but he did not realise that she was pregnant.

The mother to the victim said it was sad that a man she trusted allegedly defiled and impregnated her daughter.

After the revelation, relatives of the victim mobilised themselves and stormed Kapopo SDA congregation midway through a service and plucked elder Hanga’andu from the pulpit where he was preaching against the consumption of pork and marched him to to police detention cells from where he would continue observing his sabbath.

Zambia Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga, who confirmed the incident said police are waiting for a medical form to be signed and returned to Mwanjuni police post at 10 Miles.

In commenting on the matter, NGOCC and YWCA have called for the immediate charge and severe punishment of elder Hanga’andu.

In a joint statement this afternoon, YWCA national president Patricia Nyirenda Mubanga and NGOCC Chairperson Grace Sinkamba complained that the girl child was no longer safe in their own house, nor in the hands of trusted men of God.

“On the incident in Chibombo, we call upon the Zambia Police to immediately charge the SDA elder that is alleged to have abused the 14-year-old girl. To make the case even worse this man defiled the girl in front of her twin sister thereby traumatising both sisters.

“The SDA elder did not only take away the innocence and childhood of the 2 sisters, but also went ahead to forcibly lock them up in a house. For this may the law ensure that he is punished for forcible confinement against the will of the sisters. The fake man of God should also be punished for using his position to take advantage of children that looked up to him for security and protection,” read the statement.

The organisations have since cautioned on all parents and guardians that perpetrators of defilement and rape were not people far but those close therefore calling upon all members of the community to guard against abuse of children’s rights whether boys or girls.

“It is unfortunate that a girl child is no longer safe in his own house and now even in the hands of so-called men of God. To the members of the public, please be warned that perpetrators are people that are not far away from us. They look like any other person and have no special marks to show who they are. It is people that we trust and have been good to us, people we eat and play with, people we joke and laugh with and people we pray and sing with. They are people we trust who take advantage of our trust and good will to harm us for their own gratification.

“As the women’s movement we will continue with the ongoing campaign against GBV. We urge all Zambians to join the campaign through the Thursday in Black other awareness activities that are currently ongoing” NGOCC stated.


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