IN yesterday’s edition of NewsDay, we carried a sad report of sex perverts preying on desperate women, sexually abusing them in exchange for water, especially at night.
This does not only expose the rot in our social fabric, but goes to show that people, especially men in positions of authority, always perceive women as sex objects.
It’s just out of this world that a normal human being would pounce on a woman desperately looking for water in the wee hours of the night and sexully abuse her. Women are naturally not socialised to venture into the night at such odd hours unless they are ladies of the night, so when they go out in search of the precious liquid society should actually protect them.
The sextortion report, which has been confirmed by Transparency International Zimbabwe, should jolt law enforcement agents, human rights defenders and government into action before this problem morphs into a full-blown scourge.
Both local and central governments should take the lead in finding a solution as they have grossly failed women by not providing them with water in their homes.
This desperate situation speaks to the failure by the authorities to provide a basic service. For decades on end, Harare City Council has failed to deal with the chronic water problems in the capital.
The failure by central government to hold the city fathers to account amid rampant corruption has meant that they have been allowed to pay lip service as the provision of amenities hits rock bottom.
Such ineptitude has spread unchecked to other local authorities around the country and Zimbabweans find themselves without basic services and no one fighting in their corner.
Women, sadly, have tended to bear the brunt of the malfeasance in our society. The city fathers have an obligation to ensure that they fulfil their mandate of serving residents who pay for such services.
Society is letting the women down by not speaking out to stop such despicable behaviour. There is urgent need for stakeholders to come together and not only challenge this, but find permanent solutions to the causative agents of these unwholesome acts.
If, indeed, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a listening leader, here is a simple task that requires urgent attention.
Women organisations must now justify the grants that they get every year claiming that they are fighting rights abuse.
The church too must add its voice as well as the media. It is everyone’s responsibility and if we all play our part, we can end this. The rights of our mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues are being seriously violated.
#WomensLivesMatter should be the new hashtag until those in power act to stop this rot.