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‘Life sentence for child rapists’

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Parliament is considering life sentences for men who rape their children, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Nomalanga Mzilikazi Khumalo, said yesterday.

Addressing over 2 500 women gathered at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) for the national launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, Khumalo said the laws would be strengthened to deal with both male and female gender-based violence offenders.

“In Parliament, we want to strengthen laws and ensure that a man who rapes their child, getting attracted to thighs that are not there, should go to jail and never come out,” she said.

Khumalo paused before asking the gathering of women drawn from the whole country if they felt castration was the right punishment.

“Or do you want us to recommend castration?” she asked. The crowd roared a loud “Yes”.

“And what will we do to women who rape?” Khumalo asked, but did not get a response.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru was guest of honour at the launch event which was attended by several government officials.

Veteran nationalist Jane Ngwenya and Chief Mtshana Khumalo also graced the occasion.

The theme of the function was “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the Nation”.

Mujuru bemoaned lack of progress in arresting gender-based violence.

“It is disheartening to note that awareness has not resulted in the reduction of reported domestic violence cases,” she said.

“On a daily basis the media reports on gender based violence. What has gone wrong with our society? Is it loose moral values that result in the disrespect of the sanctity of life?

“The home is the first school that children attend and parents are the instructors.

“As we call for zero tolerance to gender-based violence, there is a need to strengthen the family unit and traditional systems,” she said.

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