The latest report of an attack on a man hitch hiker by people hunting for sperms for ritual purposes has prompted police to issue a warning to men to avoid travelling at night alone, or without reliable transport.
Police said the pastor (name withheld) was offered a lift by the suspects driving a Toyota Ipsum model at Karoi town, west of Harare, around midnight last Friday.
The car’s occupants were said to be two men and a woman.
They drove towards Harare, but suddenly stopped at a secluded place and ordered the pastor to have sexual intercourse with the woman.
He reportedly refused, but was threatened with unspecified harm by the men, forcing him to be intimate with the woman without protection.
“We strongly suspect that the woman was wearing a female condom, although the complainant has not indicated whether protection of the female type was used,” police spokesperson Clemence Mabgweazara was quoted as saying by the Herald newspaper.
After the act, the suspects forcibly took $30 from the pastor’s pockets and drove off, leaving him stranded.
A number of attacks blamed on “sperm harvesting syndicates” have been reported in Zimbabwe in the last two years.
Last year, three women were arrested after they were found with 31 used condoms, some of which contained sperms, in the city of Gweru.
The trio – Rosemary Chakwizira, 24, Sophie Nhokwara, 26, and Netsai Nhokwara, 24, – and one of the women’s boyfriends were charged with aggravated indecent assault.
Police said they had linked them to several cases where men hitch-hikers were raped after being offered lifts on the country’s highways.
The victims included off-duty soldiers and policemen, some who claimed they were threatened with guns or reptiles such as snakes.
The trial of the women, who told police they were prostitutes who were too busy to dispose of the condoms, has been stalled by forensic test delays.
Sociologists say greedy businesspeople used the harvested sperms to enhance their businesses.