JUSTICE and Constitutional Affairs parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson Jessie Majome has said members of the public and the media fraternity should be sensitive and ethical when reporting on issues of abuse and rape.
Majome was speaking as the guest of honour at the launch of a documentary Tears From Inside by local film-maker Collen Magobeya on Tuesday at Book Café, Harare.
“Rape is savage and brutal. It has no place in our society, so we must adopt zero tolerance to it and all forms of gender-based violence,” Majome said.
“We cannot get to that point if the media continues reporting as if there is an ideal age to rape. Where there is no consent, it should not happen.”
Majome said a motion to put a 30-year mandatory sentence for rapists is currently before Parliament, adding that it was worrisome that the current laws provided for a more stringent penalty for stock theft than for rape.
The 30-minute long production deals with the obscenity of child rape and women sexual abuse in Zimbabwe.
It follows a story of a young woman who was raped by two men who had offered her a lift from Shamva to Harare. As a result of the rape she got pregnant and tested positive for HIV. The theme song of the documentary was done by Rudo Chasi.
Speaking at the launch, Collen Magobeya said the documentary was aimed at all stakeholders including government and non-governmental players to address the plight of women and children.
“It was difficult for us to produce this documentary as it is not that easy to speak out as a survivor and it is more difficult if one has disabilities,” Magobeya said.
“My wish was to produce this documentary in sign language and in native languages so that survivors in Tonga, Ndebele and Venda could find a voice, but because of limited resources and lack of financial support, we failed.”
Magobeya said the documentary was also intended to assist perpetrators through a process of repentance as well as dissemination of information on sexual abuse to counter its prevalences, particularly to women and children.