*Neighbours claim mum knew but kept quiet
A 51-year-old man from Leomboko ward in Tonota was arrested on Monday on suspicion of repeatedly defiling his young stepdaughter.
The 12-year-old girl’s mum was also taken into custody as it is suspected she knew what was happening but chose to keep quiet.
When The Voice visited the village on Tuesday, neighbours seemed unsurprised by the allegations, describing the mother-of-six as a drunkard and the stepdad as abusive.
“The mother and the stepfather are a problem. It is like they have been bewitched or something. That woman is always shouting and when she is drunk it is worse!” stated an agitated resident who requested his name be withheld.
“She has six children but she does not even care about them. I think she is not mentally fit. I am very sure she was aware of the incident and did not report because she does not care about her children. We are always listening to that woman – more especially when she comes from drinking, she will be walking speaking aloud or exchanging insults with the boyfriend,” continued the source, adding that four of the kids have left home and are staying with relatives.
According to another villager who lives near the troubled couple, the stepdad recently broke his arm after getting into a fight with one of his lover’s children.
“He has been nursing his injured arm. But to sleep with a 12-year-old is barbaric! Maybe he thought she is big enough since the young girl has a big body,” exclaimed the middle-aged woman, who was also highly critical of the mum.
“She should stay away from alcohol and start behaving like a mother. I think the stepfather took advantage that the woman is always drunk.”
Confirming the couple’s arrest, Tonota Station Commander Oteng Ngada told The Voice they were alerted to the incident by a concerned teacher at the girl’s school.
“The teacher noticed the child was not performing well. Upon questioning her, she opened up and revealed her mother’s boyfriend has been sexually abusing her.”
The top cop further said they fear the abuse has been going on for months.
“Preliminary investigations shows that the man has been defiling the young girl since November last year and that the mother was aware. The couple are expected to appear in court on Thursday [6 February],” closed Ngada.