A nine-year-old girl is 33 weeks pregnant in Zimbabwe after being raped in the Tsholotsho district of the Matabeleland North province.
This is according to an article in the state-run Sunday News newspaper, which said the nine-year-old girl is being monitored by a team of specialist doctors and nurses at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
Hospital acting CEO Dr Harrison Rambanapasi is quoted, saying the girl’s impregnation at such a young age is made possible by a rare condition of precocious puberty — development of sexual maturation earlier than the normal age.
“Yes, I can confirm we have such a case at the hospital, and she is being seen by various specialists who are assisting her. [Before this] the youngest I had seen was a 12-year-old, [also] a victim of sexual abuse. Now we have this nine-year-old, and it’s a bit unfortunate that we see such a case,” said Rambanapasi.
Officials from the department of social welfare and the police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy.
Zimbabwe has had a high increase of child marriages and early pregnancies. Authorities in the country say more than a third of girls in the country are married before the age of 18, and some are married before 15.
This year President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed into law the Marriages Act that prohibits the marriage of minors under the age of 18 and criminalises child marriages.
This month a 15-year-old girl died while giving birth in Masvingo province, and last year a 14-year-old girl died during childbirth in the eastern region of Marange.