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Men Being Kidnapped And Raped In Zimbabwe


Harbinger

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Susan Dhliwayo was stunned when she pulled her car over recently to pick up a group of male hitchhikers and they refused to get in. The reason? They feared being raped.

Sensational reports of gangs of beautiful women picking up male travellers to have sex and harvest their sperm in condoms have gripped Zimbabwe in a dizzying mix of taboos, rituals and the downright bizarre.

"Now, men fear women. They said: 'We can't go with you because we don't trust you'," 19-year-old Dhliwayo recounted.

Local media have reported victims of the highway prowlers being drugged, subdued at gun or knife point - even with a live snake in one case - given a sexual stimulant and forced into repeated sex before being dumped on the roadside.

The sperm hunters first surfaced in the local press in 2009 but police have only arrested three women, found with a plastic bag of 31 used condoms in October. The attacks have continued since they were nabbed for allegedly violating 17 men.

"We do not have the exact number of confirmed cases," said national police spokes-man Wayne Bvudzijena. "These cases occurred mostly when the victims were hitchhiking and boarded private vehicles. We encourage people to use public transport."

The sperm's exact use is not clear but is thought to be intended for "juju" or traditional rituals to bring luck - anything from enhancing good fortune, boosting business or preventing a criminal from being detected.

It's also not known why the semen is taken forcibly from strangers. "It's really an issue which is mind-boggling," said University of Zimbabwe sociologist Watch Ruparan-ganda, who believes it's a lucrative business. "Obviously we know [it is] being used for rituals."

The reports haven't shocked Tende Marahu, 24, who tells of men and "sugar mamas" picking up young men from the streets in his neighbourhood to collect their sperm.

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Prepared by the United Nations Development Program, the 2010 Human Development Index ranked 169 nations on their overall economic prosperity, as well as the standard education levels and life expectancy of their citizens. The United States also fared well at a solid number 4, while Israel ranked number 15 and the United Kingdom came in at number 26.

At number 169, AIDS-ravaged and economically struggling Zimbabwe ranked dead last, displacing the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which rose slightly to number 168.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/04/best-and-worst-places-to-_n_778965.html#s174745&title=Zimbabwe__169

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