Back to Index
unite against Rape
Crisis in Zimbabwe
February 11, 2004
CRISIS COALITION supports Women's Coalition
in condemning in the deepest possible terms the rape of women and children.
The gang rape of a 38-year-old woman in the city centre by five "street
men" brought emotions to a boiling point as women came together to say
"Enough is Enough: No to Rape".
The incident sent shockwaves within the organisation
as it brings other issues to the fore. The gender insensitivity of the
police was raised as the force found enough manpower to round up unescorted
women at night but they now they are can't contain the problem of street
The * Executive (sic) Mayor of Harare, Ms Sekesai
Makwavarara got the ball rolling by speaking out against rape as it scars
the victim for life. She narrated how a girl was raped by her own brothers.
This shocking incident highlights the fact there is nothing called a safe
place for a woman, they are vulnerable even in their own homes. Rape cases
are also being reported at churches, which used to be safe havens for
Crisis echoes the sentiments put forward by
Janah Ncube, the Women's Coalition director who demanded the end to violence
against women and children because they make the backbone of society.
She challenged legislators to push through the Sexual Offences Bill which
has been on the Parliamentary shelves for four years. Representatives
of different organisations did not mince their words as they drove home
the message that there is no place for rapists in Zimbabwe.
Songs and placards manifested the determination
of the women to rid society and the streets of rapists. They were numerous
calls to castrate rapists and deny them bail should they be caught. For
Mr Matutu of Musasa Project anyone who stooped so low as to rape is mentally
deranged and as such he must be removed from society. But they message
that carried the day for the women was the call to castrate the rapists.
- The legal framework must be tightened so
that rapists do not get away with light penalties and they must not
be granted bail under any circumstances.
- The powers must clamp down on the street
family camps that have spouted all the country's CBDs because so much
more sexual violence is being perpetrated against those women and children
who stay on the streets. About 124 street girls, some as young as 11,
are being treated for STIs and some are even mothers.
- Crisis also urges the societies that deal
with the welfare of children to embark on an aggressive and sustained
grassroots campaign to empower those who might need information on how
to deal with rape within families.
- Society has to change attitudes towards
rape victims as stigmatisation will result in the victims going underground
and the perpetrators will go unpunished.
- Men must be a forefront of anti-violence
* Kubatana.net notes that Ms Sekesai Makwavarara
is Acting Executive Mayor of Harare
Visit the Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.