Dozens of people have stormed a police station where three women are held on suspicion of committing a spate of ritualistic sex attacks on male hitchhikers.
The three women were arrested on Sunday after they arrived at an accident scene in Lower Gweru and asked police officers to be allowed to retrieve 31 condoms–some with semen–from the boot of a car which had run over and killed a pedestrian.
Police arrested the trio, along with the male driver of the Chevrolet, said to be the boyfriend of one of the women.
The arrests of the suspects named as Rosemary Chakwizira, 24, Sophie Nhokwara, 26, and Netsai Nhokwara, 24, is the first breakthrough in a two-year investigation that has bamboozled detectives.
As the women continued to be interviewed by detectives at Gweru Central Police Station, more than 50 local residents massed outside the station on Tuesday, many demanding to mete out street justice.
Local resident Nkululeko Ndlovu said: “People should be given a chance to see these people. We want to know what they were doing with the semen.”
Another resident, Mary Mangoma, added: “All along, I was thinking that they had made it in life yet they were making money through such acts.
“They would change their hairstyles in less than three days and I admired them, but now I have realised that it was not clean money.”
Gweru police say the women will appear in court soon. Detectives have spoken to dozens of victims who have been participating in identity parades.
On Tuesday, more information was emerging about the lifestyles of the three women.
Locals said they frequent a local nightclub, Uptown Nite Club, and have been known to sell cars.
One of the women, Sophie Nhokwara, has a Facebook profile in which she enters her relationship status as “divorced”.
Harry Mohammed Misi, who knows the trio, said: “These women lead flashy lives and almost everyone in the city knows them.
“We are shocked with what is happening in our society where men are now being sexually-abused by women. But how can they make a living through such acts? In this case, let the law take its course.”
Midlands provincial police spokesman Inspector Patrick Chademana said the trio would likely face charges of indecent assault once investigations were complete. No court date has been set.