HARARE - First Lady Grace Mugabe says men who rape young girls should be beheaded because they have no place in a normal society.
She advised sex-starved men to hire prostitutes instead of forcing themselves on young girls.
Mugabe was speaking at the World Blood Donation Day in Chinhoyi yesterday.
Running under the theme “Safe blood for saving mothers”, she added her voice to the growing calls, especially from women and human rights groups, for sterner penalties to be imposed on men who rape young girls.
“Looking at men, I am saying while others are donating blood to improve life, some are destroying that life,” she said.
“There was an article that I saw which said a child had been raped by her uncle, unfortunately she was raped to the extent that the uterus ruptured.
“That child has lost her womanhood. That child will never have her own family. That child will grow up traumatised, she will feel that she is not part of the society.
“I think people who commit such heinous crimes should be immediately send to the gallows kunochekwa musoro chaiko
“Handione reason yekuti patombofungwa kana chii, kana munhu achingozviita chete anofanirwa kuno chekwa musoro, (I don’t see the reason why we should consider anything else, if a person rapes then he must be beheaded) because he is not suitable to be part of this society,” she said.
The country’s rape statistics were disturbing, the First Lady said, painting a grim picture of rape.
She said at least 27 women and children are raped every day.
And with some communities putting a thick veil of secrecy on the ever increasing abuse of the girl-child and women, statistics could be even higher.
Although pressure groups have ramped up efforts to encourage women to speak out, many suffer in silence as they fear censure from a largely patriarchal society, where perpetrators of rape are close relatives including fathers who impregnate their own children.
Oppah Muchinguri, Women Affairs minister, recently called for the custodial rape sentence of 20 years per count, as the crime continues to go up.
Yesterday, Mugabe’s wife, who also looks after orphans, said the country statutes should be “revisited and stiff penalties should be imposed so that would-be rapists would be deterred from committing the crime.”
“When God fashioned you (men) with those instruments that you carry around and abuse, his intention was for you to use them for reproduction, but the way you go and sow those seeds is sometimes disheartening,” she said.
“Zvakanaka here kuenda kunodyara seed iyi mumwana mudiki? (Is it ok to plant your seed in kids?) It is embarrassing! It is very bad.
“Baba vakataura wani kuti kana zvanetsamunongotsvaka ma (Isn’t it that the President said when you are in need of sex you look for) prostitutes”
Turning to the occasion, Grace said Zimbabweans should donate blood in order to boost the national blood bank.
“I am informed that our youths continue to be the leading contributors to the national blood bank contributing over 70 percent of the blood in our bank while a reasonable 29 percent is coming from adults.
“In light of the above statistics, I wish to commend the youths and the adult population for their splendid contribution,” she said
She said the price of blood was too high and out of reach for most persons in need.
“We must therefore find ways of funding the National Blood Services Zimbabwe in order to reduce or even remove in some cases the cost-related blood supply to the vulnerable, needy patient,” she said.
The commemorations were attended by Cabinet ministers Ignatius Chombo, Webster Shamu, David Parirenyatwa, Walter Mzembi, Mashonaland West resident Minister Faber Chidarikire and the Zanu PF provincial leadership.