Bonyongwe flexes muscles, threatens life sentences for rapists

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NEWLY-APPOINTED Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Happyton Bonyongwe has flexed his muscles and threatened life jail sentences for rapists of minor children.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

Addressing Beitbridge residents during an advocacy meeting organised by his ministry yesterday, Bonyongwe said a draft Bill against child marriages would be tabled before Parliament soon.

“The government is doing its best to protect the girl child in the wake of these disturbing trends. We have an amendment proposal seeking to have life sentences imposed on people convicted of raping minors,” he said.

Bonyongwe, a top government spy until his new appointment in the recent ministerial reshuffle, was on his first public appearance after assuming his new role as a Cabinet minister.

He said following concerns raised by various stakeholders, his ministry had proposed a life term in jail for paedophilia, a crime common in Zimbabwe.

Pedophilia is usually influenced by traditional beliefs and fuelled by some traditional healers who, at times, prescribe sleeping with minors as a cure for HIV.

Bonyongwe said his ministry had also proposed to have people who rape adults and elderly people caged for 40 years or more to curb the vice.

He also implored Zimbabweans to acquaint themselves with the new Constitution, which he said should be easy, considering the country’s high literacy rate estimated to be above 93%.

The former spy unit head distributed thousands of copies of the new Constitution, which he said his ministry had since translated into six of Zimbabwe’s 16 official languages, including Braille.

“It is our mandate to educate people on the new Constitution and programmes like this are ongoing,” he said.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza explained the criteria used to realign the laws, saying they had started with human rights legislation.

“We then moved to electoral laws and then those that deal with our ministry, ” she said.

Mabhiza said other ministries were also tasked with compiling realignment draft Bills that concern them and later given to the Justice ministry for proper presentation.

She said the Justice ministry was working with departments of languages at six universities to complete the translation into all languages.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Harsh sentences will lead to grievous abuse, I suggest that rapists who plead guilty be offered an option of a non custodial sentence on the condition that they have their scrotum/scrota and prostate glands removed. Same applies to murderers, save them jail sentences by cutting their sinews on their strong hands and feet ie crippling them.

    • thats very true. i think i read an article which proved based on studies, that death sentence does not curb worst crimes like murder. it actually promotes or makes the situation. take a case where a victim is raped. there is high chances that the perpetrator may proceed and murder the rape victim in a bid to conceal. kubvisa ma testicles may solve the problem.

      • Don’t you think its more or less the same,ndiyani angada kurarama abviswa zviro zvake?That thought alone can also drive the perpetrator to murder as a way of silencing the victim forever/concealing evidence.But just one example of someone castrated will send the correct message to would be rapists.
        Weldone Minister Bonyongwe,that is a good start.Zvanyanya.

  2. Rape on adults has to be proved using modern methods, without which many men shall be convicted erroneously. Most courts depend on narrations which are sometimes staged. until the state invest in such technology, i don’t advise life sentence. or rape definition has to be reviewed, unlike simply saying penetration.

  3. Look at our neighbor down south. The tender is that criminals will not allow their victims another day in court. They kill them to remove any incriminating evidence to the crime. If you become too harsh with criminals, they will kill to remove evidence. Just a thought.

  4. Comment…Life sentences is better because castration and death would prove otherwise fatal because when proved to be false. allegations would there be any reversal of death or the removed organs.

  5. Comment…wout technological advancements in our justice system he is starting from a wrong end of the stick. We dnt hve forensics n u.talkin abt long sentences.

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