EDITOR — Children have to be put on a leash. A child who grows without the leash of fear of the stick meanders boundlessly into forbidden seams of the social realm. The element of force is an essential societal tool which has to be used to coerce delinquents into desired order.
Every country has a police force. Even the Vatican has such a police force commanded by the Holy See. God allowed the existence of hell to coerce those with a high propensity to sin to repent and follow His statutes.
Leaving children living a life devoid of coercion is a sufficient recipe for disaster.
In strict Islamic communities where Sharia law is practised to the book, levels of crime and social delinquency are at a bare minimum not because the citizens are very keen on righteousness but because they are afraid of the consequences of the long arm of the law.
Recently, the High Court of Zimbabwe pronounced as unlawful the caning of children in the home and at schools. The ruling has raised a lot of dust from the community with parents crying foul that allowing such a law would spoil our societal fabric. Consensus on the subject seems to converge on the notion that laws have to be formulated on majority consensus. Only in 2013, Zimbabwe voted into law a new Constitution that had been crafted on majority consensus.
The removal of force from parenting can be equated to removing the police and prison system from arms of government.
Force or a threat to force is an essential element of assuring order and law.
While it is true that the judiciary must take a keen interest on the rights of the child, throwing out corporal punishment will be giving the children a blank cheque with which they can draw rights from the bill of rights with the full knowledge of winning all there is.
Every right must be backed by some responsibility. There is nothing like an absolute right. Absolute access to anything valuable destroys the value of that thing.
The element of scarcity is a reality of value. Anything that is not scarce has no value. Limitless access to freedom of action for children is similar to giving government to children.
The judiciary must interest itself with mechanisms designed to stop the abuse of children in the name of disciplining them. Putting a law that erases corporal punishment from society is no guarantee after all to the end of abuse of children.
Murders today are committed wantonly despite that there is a law that forbids murder. That law is paired with painful consequences on those who commit murder but murder is still committed daily.
Christians still commit sin despite having the confidence and belief in the presence of hell. But if the truth be told, if there was no hell at all or if God was going to come down on earth and announce that he has abolished and destroyed hell, all churches will be left empty, sin will surge to unprecedented levels and the world will be a den of chaos.
God is not worshipped because people love to worship him much. Instead he is worshipped by many with the expectation that God will spare them hell when its time.
The element of fear is an important factor of governance. Governance begins in the home. Parents are the smallest unit of government. Removing the use of force from government is rendering it weak and ineffectual.
The judiciary must interest itself in coordinating the forms of corporal punishment. It must prescribe means, forms, tools and the personnel responsible for administering corporal punishment outside the home.
In a home with domestic service, let parents decide who must administer corporal punishment. In the same manner, in a school setup, systems must be put forward on which an official is responsible for meting out corporal punishment under what circumstances and with what tools.
Caning sticks can be tailor-made to suit pupils of different ages and gender. Effects like material, weight and other physical properties can also be gazetted to protect the interest of the child.