HomeLocal NewsMtetwa raps police crackdown

Mtetwa raps police crackdown

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Human rights defenders have castigated female politicians in positions of authority for their silence in the midst of a police crackdown against women accused of prostitution.

Police in Harare have targeting women moving around the central business district in the evening prompting a demonstration at Africa Unity Square by activists last week.

Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told a discussion forum organised by journalists at the Quill Club that women should fight to stop discrimination based on gender.

“The Constitution says there ought not to be discrimination based on gender. I am loitering, but for who? The assumption is I am loitering for a man who is left scot-free, why not wait for the man and lock us up?” she said. “It’s a gender bias kind of crime and I don’t think there is a law that says women should be arrested for loitering. Why target the women and not men?”

She said in her career as a lawyer, she had encountered people determined to intimidate her because she was a woman, but has stood up to them.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights executive director Irene Petras weighed in saying: “When I did the Roy Bennett case, I got home and two of my dogs had been poisoned. Two weeks later, somebody called me at some (army) barrack in Cranborne telling me of the attempt to kill my dogs.

“I was wondering if they could have done this if it was a man handling that case.”

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