A Zimbabwean man who claimed he had been raped by women on five separate occasions has been arrested for making false reports, state media reported.
The 20-year-old man told police in the northern town of Kariba that he had made up the reports to “get sympathy from people who would then give him money and food”, state broadcaster ZBC reported on its website.
Attacks by female rapists in Zimbabwe have made local and international news headlines in the past three years. There has been speculation that the women target hitch-hikers to collect semen which they then use or sell for traditional get-rich-quick potions.
Three women were arrested on suspicion of committing rape in the central town of Gweru in 2011, after more than 30 used condoms were found in their car.
However, they claimed they were busy sex workers who had not had time to dispose of the condoms. They were later cleared by a court.
The man, from eastern Manicaland province, opened rape cases at police stations in Kariba and Karoi in northern Zimbabwe and Chivi, Ngundu and Chiredzi in southern Zimbabwe, using different names each time.
Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told the state-controlled Herald newspaper: “Following intensive investigations by the Zimbabwe Republic Police after several reports of aggravated indecent assault commonly referred to as the rape of men by women in early January 2015, it has been established that the five cases reported… are all false.”
In 2012, a 25-year-old man claimed he too had been raped and robbed by a three-woman gang in the border city of Mutare. It later emerged that he had spent his entire salary on a girlfriend and was too scared to go home.