Three women who were arrested after raping men in order to steal their semen for ritualistic purposes begin their trial on Monday in Zimbabwe. The women preyed on male hitchhikers.
Police have said they believe the three accused are just part of a nationwide syndicate of women sexually assaulting men to profit from their semen.
Digital Journal reported on the arrest of the three women in October, noting there had been dozens of attacks against males by female predators. Police spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri told the BBC that the attacks are part of a nationwide assault, saying "We have received reports from around the country from different towns and provinces, it's been happening on the highways." All Africa reported that men had been attacked in Mashonaland West, Chitungwiza, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Mashonaland Central Province.
Thus far there is only speculation as to why the semen is being acquired. Phiri confirmed "We are yet to find out the real reason why this is happening. We have heard speculation that it's linked to rituals." Possible motives have included suggestions that the semen is being sold abroad, used to bring business success, or sold to faith-healers in South Africa.
The typical modus operandi of the women is to pick up male hitchhikers and force them to have sex after injecting them with a "sex drug," sometimes at gunpoint. The three women were caught following a road accident when 31 used condoms filled with semen were found in the car. The women claim that they are prostitutes who were too busy to dispose of the condoms.
The women are charged with aggravated sexual assault rather than rape, as Zimbabwean law does not recognize the act of women raping men.