Time to act against rapists

HARARE - We are impressed that the country’s leadership is now taking the fight against child sexual abuses seriously, and urge government and police to come down hard on the evil perpetrators of these monstrous crimes.

Vice President Joice Mujuru and minister of Gender Oppah Muchinguri have spoken passionately against child sexual offenders, who go about brutalising girls for their selfish interests.

On Sunday, President Robert Mugabe took a swipe at child sexual offenders saying it was now an epidemic plaguing society.

Speaking at the opening of the 22nd Session of the Children’s Parliament and commemorations to mark the Day of the African Child, Mugabe lamented the high figures of children who are raped mostly by people close to them.

He was quoted in the media as saying: “I should have brought the statistics here to show you. Sometimes it is the father or an uncle abusing their children. Sometimes it is an elderly person or a very young girl raped by a close relative.

“It is happening and it is terrible. We don’t know what is happening. So where have our morals gone?

“If we are letting you down, we are saying learn from us how not to do the bad things we are doing and how to do the good we are not doing.

“Something has gone wrong. What has happened to our moral and social fibre? As Government, we are working on enhancing our policing interventions to eradicate what has turned into a epidemic.”

Well spoken Mr President.

What has really gone wrong in our society?

Children are raped everyday yet parents and relatives fail to report such barbaric acts to the police.

As Mugabe rightly pointed out, the offenders are usually shameless fathers and relatives of the poor children.

In this age and era, we have adults raping girls in the mistaken belief this helps cure diseases like Aids, while some do it because they believe that it will boost their businesses. What a disgrace!

Surely, the richest people in the world like Bill Gates did not make their money because they raped children. No.

Child rapists must be dealt with severely. We also tend to commend Mugabe’s wife Grace for calling for stiffer sentences on girl-child attackers.

Grace recently called for the beheading of rapists but while her suggested form of punishment is a debate for another day, she deserves praises for advocating for stiffer sentences against people who abuse children.

Authorities must also deal decisively with traditional healers who advice people to rape children claiming that this helps cure Aids and boosts business.

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