Mayani: A serial rapist who pierced his victims’ eyes to avoid identification (2)

Friday February 26 2021
mayani pic
By Bernard James

Dar es Salaam. In yesterday's edition we saw how Jacob Mayani (36), a resident of Shinyanga raped young girls and pierced their eyes to avoid recognition.

We also read how he was arrested and confessed to have raped three other girls. Today we look at how he raped a 10-year-old.

The case of a 10-year-old

This 10—year old (names withheld) was living with her mother in Mwasele , Shinyanga at the time when she was raped .

On February 12, 2013, at 9 pm, her visiting aunt sent the victim to buy bans at a nearby store. On the way to the shop, the girl met a stranger riding a bicycle.


The stranger asked her to accompany him to the place where he would find the grandmother and give it to the girl to take to his grandmother who was living with him. The victim agreed, believing Mayan was a good man.

The stranger who was soft spoken and welcoming asked her to accompany him to the place where he would find tomatoes to take to his grandmother whom she was living with.

The victim did not doubt Mayani’s motives for he sounded kind and genuine. This made her believe that  Mayani was a kind and good man indeed.

Mayani put her on his bicycle to a village called Mwamashele. When they got to the village it was raining heavily.

 Mayani took the girl to a nearby shelter and when they reached the abandoned house which was incomplete, Mayani turned on the minor. He had got her exactly where he wanted her, alone and vulnerable with no one to turn to for help.

He grabbed the girl and strangled her until she lost consciousness and did not know what had happened until the next day. Mayani repeatedly raped the girl and abandoned her in the building.

At the time, the victim's mother struggled to find her daughter without success and decided to go to the Local Government offices to report her daughter's disappearance. The next day (February 13) he went to report the incident to the police for further assistance.

The next day when the victim regained consciousness at dawn, she found herself with severe pain in her eyes and genitals.

Mayani the man on the bike had left her for the dead and disappeared beyond trace.

With a blurred vision, she noticed that her underwear had been torn and thrown away. However, she managed to drag herself out of the place. Fortunately, a woman who was farming in the vicinity of the area saw her.

The victim's appearance and the fact that she was leaving the unfinished and uninhabited house at dawn shocked the woman.

After approaching her and examining her closely, the woman noticed that the girl's eyes were swollen.

The girl recounted all that had happened to her before losing consciousness. The woman took the victim to her home where she gave her porridge and then took her to the village authorities.

Luckily that day, two police officers arrived in the village for their daily activities and the news was broke to them.

They were accompanied each other to the scene where they found the girl's underwear torn and thrown.

They took it as exhibit and left with the victim to the police station. When they arrived at the station the mother of the victim who had already reported the missing child was informed that her daughter had been found.

The girl's mother hurried to the police post and when she arrived she started checking on her daughter and discovered she had been raped. Police gave her a medical form and took her to Shinyanga Regional Hospital where he was examined by Dr Fredrick Mlekwa.

The doctor found that her genitals were inflamed and damaged. He also found traces of sperms. The doctor also found out that the girl's eyes had been pierced and wrote a referral to Bugando Hospital in Mwanza for further examination and treatment.

The manhunt for the rapist

Two months passed without any sign of Mayani as police and the victims' parents continued their search which had so far proved futile.

As the search raged on Mayani was in another incident after she had raped a seven-year-old and in the process he confessed to have raped other girls and pierced their eyes.

His confession that he was piercing the girls’ eyes after raping them,  the rape facilitated a police investigation into an incident that took place two months ago in which a girl was raped in a filthy house and abandoned unconscious.

A police investigation confirmed that Mayani had raped the girl and damaged her eyes. At the time the victim was undergoing eye treatment at Bugango Hospital.

Identifies the rapist

In an effort to identify the rapist who pierced the girl's eyes in a dilapidated building, police called on the victim who was undergoing treatment in Bugando to come to the Shinyanga Police Station for an identification parade.

In the parade, the victim, who was still visually impaired, identified Mayani as the rapist.

At the station, Mayani admitted to raping the girl and his confession was used in court as evidence to convict him.

His defense

In his defence at the District Court Mayani, said that on the day of the incident he was continuing his pastoral activities in the Mwamasele area and he met a woman who accused her of raping a girl.

He said he denied the allegations and the woman screamed for help confiscated his belongings.

He said while at the police station he was told that he had raped three girls and pierced their eyes, allegations that he claimed were not true.

He denied the victim's evidence claiming he did not recognize her and rejected the statement submitted to the court claiming he was forced to sign it.

He also claimed he was denied the right to call his lawyer or relatives before the statement was taken.

However, the district court rejected his defense and sentenced him to life in prison before appealing and the sentence was reduced to 30 years.

Two other cases

Reports indicate that two more cases of raping girls and piercing their eyes with thorns were reported to police but did not go ahead.

One case of raping and injuring the eyes of a girl failed to proceed after the victim failed to identify the rapist while another similar case failed to proceed after a lack of co-operation after the victim's family moved from the area where the incident took place.