Former Highlanders FC striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube has been arrested for allegedly ra-ping a 15-year-old girl on multiple occasions at his house in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb.
Ncube, the Premier Soccer League’s 2013 top goal scorer, is alleged to have sex-ually abused the minor, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, since June this year.
He was arrested on Tuesday and is expected to appear in court soon.
Sources said the abuse came to light after the teenager reported the sexual assault to the police leading to Ncube’s arrest.
“He has been sleeping with the child since June. He is said to have been using protection in all the encounters,” said the source.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the arrest saying investigations were underway.
He said Ncube, who was in custody yesterday afternoon, was assisting police with investigations.
Ncube, a prolific striker in his heydays, was a soccer star finalist in 2013, had stints with FC Platinum, the now defunct Railstars FC and Motor Action FC.
He also played in neighbouring Botswana.
Asst Insp Ncube decried sexual abuse of women and children, saying in some instances police have challenges in apprehending suspects and counselling victims as families tend to hide some cases.
“As police we’re worried that some of these incidents occur in what should be safe houses. If someone is at home, they are believed to be safe but some homes are no longer safe,” he said.
“Even police patrols can’t prevent crimes that occur indoors. We therefore call on members of the public to be responsible and respect each other.”
Asst Insp Ncube urged victims of sexual abuse to report the matter as soon as possible so that they can receive medical treatment to prevent contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
According to a recent National Aids Council (Nac) report, teenagers between the ages of 11 and 16 are the worst affected in sexual assault cases countrywide.
Nac statistics reveal that 233 women were raped in Bulawayo in the last three months alone.
Nac also expressed concern that although the sexual cases are high, only 22 percent of the victims sought Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) which protects them from contracting diseases