JUST IN: 16 killed in Gweru

14 Mar, 2021 - 16:03 0 Views

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief

SIXTEEN murder and 65 rape cases were reported in the Midlands Province in the past two months.

Some of the reasons that saw people being killed  include misunderstanding over relish in homes and fighting over gold ore claims by artisanal miners.

In terms of rape,  70 percent of those who were abused are said to have been raped by people known to the victims, especially relatives.

The home environment is now proving to be a dangerous place for females both young and old according to the figures.

The rape and murder cases are before the courts of law.

The statistics were revealed by Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Larry Mavima during the Zanu PF Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting held at the Winnery Convention Centre in Gweru on Saturday.

“We are worried about the surge in rape cases in the province. In the month of January, the province experienced a devastating figure of 49 rape cases. By the same token, in the month of February, as a province we have also experienced a figure of 16 rape cases bringing the total number of rape cases to 65 this year only. Comrades I would like to appeal to all of you as the leadership of the Midlands province to play your party in eliminating these evil vices from our communities,” he said.

Minister Mavima said 70 percent of the rapes cases were perpetrated people known to the victims especially relatives.

“When we look further, we see that relatives or people known to these victims constitute 70 percent of rape cases. They knew each other. There is a need to make the home environment safe for  females,” he said.

Minister Mavima encouraged people facing any form of abuse to quickly report perpetrators to the police so that they are brought to book.

In terms of murders, he said 10 murders were reported in January and six in February.

Minister Mavima said while there is no valid reason for killing each other, some of the reasons were shocking such as fighting over relish  or beer.

“In terms of murders, the Province in January  recorded 10 cases and six in February. So far there are 16 cases. We haven’t received March figures. There are small reasons why people are killing each other in cold blood. This is uncalled for and we need to unite and eliminate this demon in our province” he said.

Minister Mavima said eight people were killed in road traffic accidents in January and February.

He encouraged road users to follow road rules and regulations.

Minister Mavima also said only road worthy vehicles should be on the roads.

“Let’s work together to curb road accidents that can be very fatal. In January  we lost three people and five in February  bringing the total to eight,” he said.

The Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, told the National Assembly recently that 2 496 rape cases o were reported during the second half of 2020.

She said 4 959 girls fell pregnant, while 1 774 young girls were forced into marriages since the onset of the Covid-19 induced national lockdown last year.

“May I take this opportunity to also update the House on some of the legislative issues which my Ministry is working on which we think will contribute towards prevention.

“The first one is the Sexual Harassment Bill and Gender Equality Bill. The Ministry received a set of draft principles for the Sexual Harassment Bill and Gender Equality Bill from the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.

“The Bills are expected to criminalise the offence of sexual harassment and provide frameworks for gender equality.”

Minister Nyoni said as part of the law development process, consultations on the Bills with law based women’s organisations at national and regional levels are at an advanced.

Principles of the two Bills are expected to be submitted to Cabinet before May.

Sexual harassment is considered an “unfair labour practice” under the Labour Act and an employer can be held liable for civil remedies only.

The Act prohibits asking for sexual favours for the recruitment for employment, the creation, classification or abolition of jobs or posts; or the improvement of the remuneration or other conditions of employment of the employee.

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