Single woman narrates harrowing rape attempt at exclusive Zanzibar beach hotel
"At around 12am, a few friends and family called to wish me a happy birthday and then I went back to my room to sleep."
It was then, Zainab alleges, that strange things began happening. They would mark the abrupt end of her holiday, a trip to the hospital and a verbal slugfest with Zanzibar police, all caught on video.
"Few hours into my sleep, I started to feel a strange hand touching my breast," she narrates. "Now, this was me sleeping naked on my bed in my hotel room with my doors locked so this was definitely (she told herself) a dream”.
Hands stroking penis
She says she tried to sleep but "some few minutes afterwards, I started to feel my hands stroking someone’s penis. At this moment, I opened my eyes to confirm if it was actually a dream or I was in real danger."
But a dream it wasn't. "There was a naked man lying on my bed and touching me at 2am in my hotel room ! He started calling me 'baby' and then I became scared cause the room was dark as I had switched off the lights before I went to bed. Now, I was extremely scared.
"I asked the man 'who are you?' But all he kept saying was 'baby, baby'. I asked in a louder tone this time around cause I was getting angry and then he quickly stuffed his hands over my mouth in an attempt to stop me from shouting.
"In this moment, I became very scared as I didn’t know who this was and why this person was in my room. A lot of things were going through my head at the same time. Who is this? Does he have a weapon? Will I get raped and killed on my birthday in a strange land?"
Should I run?
"How did this man get into my room? Should I struggle for my life? Will he rape me and throw me into the ocean directly opposite my room? Should I let him rape me so he may spare my life? Should I run? Will he chase me?
"While all these was going through my head, this man tried to climb on top of me in an attempt to force his penis inside of me. At this point, I became scared cause he was stinking so badly and that was the only thing I could smell. I couldn’t see his face so I started touching his body so I’d get some clarity on how to identify him if I ever get out of my room alive."
Amid tears, Zainab says she begged the man not to rape her, and "lied to him that I have HIV and he’d need to get a condom before sleeping with me."
"Immediately he heard HIV, he paused for a while. I quickly wanted to use the opportunity to run but then he started strangling my neck. ... I continued begging him and telling him I’d allow him have sex with me but he’d need to go get a condom so as not to get HIV. I saw that he reacted to the word 'HIV' so I kept on saying HIV whilst crying profusely at this point."
Press my neck against the bed
"His belt fell off the bed so I got an instant feeling that this man came to my room fully clothed before removing his clothes right on my bed. He wore his shoes and came back to press my neck against the bed. As I struggled to not let him strangle me, he left the room and told me he’d be back with a condom."
Immediately he left, Zainab switched on the light and tried to call hotel reception. "But to my surprise, there was no intercom or phone lines to reach the hotel reception through the room."
She also says she tried to call the police but no one was responding to the calls. Fearing that the would-be rapist was going to come back, Zainab claims to have sought refuge at the room of her Russian friends till day break.
It was when she returned to her room in day time that she learnt her $1,100 was missing. She claims the hotel management was unresponsive, prompting her to make a report at Nungwi Police Station within the island.
"I was asked to write my statement which I did. The police men asked me to narrate the incident to them and they advised I go to the hospital to go do a check up if I was raped or not," she says.
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