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Sexual abuse rampant in orphanages

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Eye  of the Child has expressed worry over the numerous abuses including sexual harassment that children living in orphanages are facing in the country.

According to Eye of the Child Executive Director, Maxwell Matewere, last year they recorded a number of abuses happening in the orphanages.

He said so many orphans have reported to his organisation about sexual abuses.

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“We have noted with concern the status of children living in orphanages where so many of them have reported abuses happening to them. It is quite sad that so many children in orphanages seem to be experiencing sexual abuses,” he said.

Matewere has since urged the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare to close down all the orphanages that are abusing children.

One of the orphans who were abused at one of the orphanages in Bvumbwe told The Daily Times that one of the female caregivers was sleeping with her and the owners of the orphanages chased her away after she was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.

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“The caregiver was sleeping with me, she is a lesbian. I suffered a lot of stomach pains. They took me to Banja La Mtsogolo but nothing changed. Then the managers of the orphanage told me to move out. They said they have nothing to do with me anymore at the orphanage,” said the victim.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Mary Shawa said her ministry is aware of the case but could not comment much because the issue is in court.

She said the ministry already agreed with the owners of the orphanage to have it closed and the ministry’s lawyer took the matter to court.

“This issue we already discussed with the owners of that orphanage to have it closed and we already issued out some documents on closure of some orphanages, not just this one but we are closing so many. Out of 105 orphanages only 25 are fit to be orphanages in the country,” she said.

In 2016, an American man was arrested in his home country and was jailed for 25 years after admitting to have slept with several orphans at an orphanage in Thyolo when he was working as a caregiver.

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