Perverts targeting schoolchildren through social media

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Crime & Courts | 0 comments

Mako Jerera

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has busted a criminal syndicate which has been using social media to lure schoolboys with intentions to sexually abuse them.

The police urged parents to closely monitor their children’s online activity.

In a statement released yesterday, ZRP Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the perverts were using social media to induct young boys to sodomy and gay activities.

The group comprises both the young and old who communicate mostly through Facebook and WhatsApp.

Asst Comm Nyathi said one of the suspects, Emmanuel Chatikobo whose real name has been identified as Lemmie Gwaku (48) had been arrested and brought before the courts.

He said the other suspect, Richard Padzarondora (44), who was linked to the group passed away while police were still conducting investigations.


“The future of youngsters is at stake and is threatened by this social media where we now have a group which is waylaying children at schools. In the process, boys are being abused and initiated into sodomy activities and gay activities,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

Police said the case of a 16-year-old schoolboy (name withheld), who was kidnapped in Mbare, Harare, on June 29, 2021, opened the can of worms.

The boy was located by the Criminal Investigations Department detectives in Bulawayo on October 13, 2021, after being hidden by a member of the social media group.

He has since been reunited with his parents while awaiting medical examinations and counselling.

Asst Comm Nyathi said, “The group comprises both young and old who communicate mostly through Facebook and WhatsApp.”

They run a sophisticated underground network.

“The communication is discreet and leads to dating where sexual activities are conducted at certain lodges and houses. This group has some people who own businesses, people who live in these flashy suburbs and some people who live in towns throughout the country,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

Asst Comm Nyathi called on stakeholders, including parents and the community, to provide the police with information that could help them to the arrest of more suspects.

The numbers provided for reporting are; National Complaints Desk number (0242) 703631, Bulawayo Operations on 0292 74525 Harare Operations on (0242) 748836 or Police General Headquarters WhatsApp number 071 2 800 197 or at any nearest Police Station.