Parents and teachers can help curb child abuse: Acting President Chiwenga

26 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Parents and teachers can help curb child abuse: Acting President Chiwenga Acting President Constantino Chiwenga lifts best 2022 Jikinya Dance festival dancer Prosper Nyoni from Lwendulo primary school yesterday

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief

ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga has urged parents and teachers to take a leading role in educating children about sexual abuse as a way of curbing the disturbing surge in sexual abuse cases.

In just a month two shocking cases of child sexual abuse have been reported. A nine-year-old girl from Tsholotsho recently became the youngest mother in the country after giving birth to a baby girl at the United Bulawayo Hospitals through Caesarean section. As the nation was struggling to come to terms with the gross sexual abuse of a minor, it received news that police had arrested two 17-year-old boys for impregnating a nine-year-old girl in Bindura.

The victim, a Grade Three pupil, is at Bindura Hospital.
A month ago, a 15-year-old girl from Norton died while giving birth at a church shrine in Bikita.

The tragedy is reminiscent of the case of 14-year-old Anna Machaya, who died while giving birth in Marange in July last year.
The Government, acting President Chiwenga said, is worried that sexual abuse cases are on the rise in the country.

He was addressing school children, Government officials and people from different churches gathered for the final 2022 Jikinya Dance Festival held at the Winery Convention Centre in Gweru yesterday.

“Parents and teachers should take a leading role in educating children about sexual abuse at home and at school as one way of curbing the surge in sexual abuse incidences,” said acting President Chiwenga.

He said children who are taught about preventing sexual abuse at home or at school are more likely to report sexual abuse.

“If the abuse is taking place at home, the child must be able to tell the teachers and if it is happening at school, the child must be able to tell the parents. So at home parents must teach their children about this matter and teachers at school must do the same,” said acting President Chiwenga.

He said it was unfortunate that some women and men see wives and husbands in young girls and boys.
Acting President Chiwenga said the culture of tolerating sugar daddies and sugar mummies should also come to an end.

“Children please, I urge you to come out in the open and report if you are facing abuse at home or at school,” he said.
Acting President Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, warned would-be abusers saying the

Government is looking at ensuring that child abusers are punished severely.

“I am giving everyone who shall be found on the wrong side of the law a stern warning because they will be given harsh sentences to deter would-be offenders. As I speak, the Government is working on legislation that will promote stiffer penalties,” he said.

The Acting President said drug and substance abuse was also affecting communities.
“This scourge has undesirable adverse effects on the individual, family, community and national well-being. In particular, the country has, of late, witnessed sad developments in relation to cases of rape and sexual abuse,” he said.

Acting President Chiwenga hailed the festival which he said is the biggest dance programme for primary schools run by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in partnership with the National Association of Primary Heads.

“This programme runs as a competition, with schools participating from all the country’s 10 administrative provinces. It is one great example of child participation in activities related to the arts and culture. The festival gives a platform to showcase various traditional dances from different communities, revealing cultural diversity in the country.

“Further, the festival promotes unity and social cohesion among children of diverse backgrounds and upbringing. The hosting of this festival is important as it gives participating children, despite their regions, an opportunity to perform and appreciate our various Zimbabwean cultures through dance. The dances performed reflect authentic traditional aspects of specific ethnic, religious, or cultural groups in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Acting President Constantino Chiwenga congratulates Lwendulo primary school pupil Prosper Nyoni with Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry

The theme for this year’s festival is: “Building Zimbabwe through Dance, Our Heritage is Our Identity”.
Acting President Chiwenga said the theme encourages communities to adopt safeguarding measures through dance so that every Zimbabwean appreciates and continues to foster the value of spreading cultural values from generation to generation.

He said the communities and schools have the responsibility to hand down this very important aspect of life in its completeness to school children who are the future.

“I note with pride that Jikinya has thrived over the years in showcasing this rich and diverse ethnic heritage of our Zimbabwean society through song and dance. This makes the festival a practical vehicle for conserving and promoting the nation’s living legacy. Over and above that, it builds an audience for the consumption of our arts and culture as commodities.

“Apart from training children in dance techniques, the Jikinya Dance Festival becomes a significant community initiative that supports economic benefits associated with heritage, given that it is promoting creativity within communities. The manufacturers and sales agents for these costumes and props that we see in use today also enjoy the same economic benefit,” he said.

Acting President Chiwenga said the Government, through the Ministries of Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation as well as Primary and Secondary Education, will continue to support the festival.

“The festival dovetails with the goals of the National Development Strategy (NDS 1, which is a tool to achieve Vision 2030, as pronounced by President Mnangagwa. It is bringing broad-based transformation, creating new wealth and expanding horizons of economic opportunities for all Zimbabweans, leaving no one and no place behind,” he said.

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