Chief dresses down teens' scanty clothes

HARARE - A traditional leader has blamed parents for failing to enforce a decent dress code for female children, alleging this could be fuelling rape cases.

Chief Enos Pfungwa Musarurwa, from Mashonaland East, said the dressing of many girls was increasing their vulnerability to rapists as parents forgo proper parental guidance in a bid to be in vogue with civilisation.

“I am touching on a sensitive issue,” Chief Musarurwa said. “Dress code is a subject that women cannot stand. We are a Christian nation, what we are trying to do is simply protect our country and respect God being the greatest.

“A girl leaves her home wearing a ‘guvhu out’ (crop top) or tops that reveals too much of the cleavages while you as a parent or mother watches.

Worse now, with all the genetically modified foodstuffs, you find girls with bodies of adult women. They end up being abused.

“Not that I exonerate the stupid men raping children, but I feel some of these cases could be avoided.”

Recently, findings by Zimstats and the United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (Unicef) showed that one in three girls was raped or sexually assaulted before she reaches the age of 18.

The study further revealed that of all the child sexual abuse cases, over 90 percent of child survivors of sexual abuse were female.

Most of the girls aged 12 and above were sexually abused in the homes of their peers and boyfriends.

Children aged 13 to 16 made up close to 50 percent of the cases with over 70 percent of all abuses happening in urban areas.

At least 90 percent of child sexual abuse perpetrators were males and the average perpetrator’s age was 22.

Chief Musarurwa believes strict parental guidance on dressing was fundamental in a child’s early years.

“The law says a child becomes independent at 18, so let us supervise our children before they are old enough to see things properly. Actually our traditional law says children can only be independent when they marry,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Victim Friendly Unit, said in December more than 2 400 children under the age of 18 were victims of rape between January and October.

Overall 3 421 sexual abuse cases were reported during the period.

Neighbours accounted for 41 percent of perpetrators, while relatives left in the care of children accounted for 27 percent.

A total of 1 610 cases of indecent assault were recorded in 2011, with 2 484 and 1 124 in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

Comments (2)

Chief these people say its moving with time. I support you but hey come to Westghate complaex and see what happens with our small boys and girls as they try to go to a movie house there. Whether they watch the movies or end up somehwre none knows but just take a casual visit on a Saturday and Sunday at Westgate Complex in Bluff Hill you will be shocked by some of the nakedness being paraded by our kids.. I heard its even worse at Sam Levy Village.

Maita Manyuka - 6 January 2014

Point of correction: there is but one law, with its origins in the designer of the universe. While I empathise with misguided reference to "traditional law", there is no such thing. A child is always a child, at 12, 18 or at marriage, even after death. Let no one mislead my people otherwise. The legal system in place in the world today completely fails to provide sustainable order, like "modern" medicine, all it does is sustain itself. A child earns certain privileges against demonstration of competence. That is the law.

Mutongi Gava - 7 January 2014

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