TRADITIONAL leaders seconded to the Senate have welcomed the introduction of a Bill to punish rapists and child sex offenders, describing rape as a “satanic” practice that deserves a lengthy and mandatory jail term.
by VENERANDA LANGA
President of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira last week said: “In Zimbabwe rape cases are on the increase and the way the perpetrators are doing it is bad and cruel, and typical cases of such cruelty is a father raping his own daughter, or a brother raping his own sister, or even cases where a son rapes his own mother.
“In this act, it is no longer rape; I do not know what to call it because rape itself is immoral, diabolic and satanic; and the way these perpetrators are now doing it shows that Satanism is on the increase because you hear of a case where a father sexually abuses his children —really can we call this rape?”
Charumbira said when the rape Bill is brought before Senate, legislators should even advocate for life imprisonment for rapists.
“Some may even suggest sentences of life imprisonment or some may even be talking of the castration of the offender,” he said.
Charumbira also called for the alignment of the law on prisons to the constitution, so that it emphasises on rehabilitation of the prisoner.
“The laws we had on taking care of the prisoners were foreign and did not put emphasis on the rehabilitation and hence we need to make laws which will make the prisoners who have been released from incarceration to be rehabilitated and be accepted by the society.”
Deputy President of the Chiefs Council senator Chief Lucas Mtshane said the Child Justice Bill and the Marriages Bill that will come before Parliament should forbid early child marriages.
“Indeed such practices as child marriages fly against the values and ethos of our culture and tradition. It is a matter of grave concern to us as traditional leaders, as 4% of girls are married off at the age of 15 whilst 34% are married at the age of 18.”