WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabweans have been urged to expose church leaders who abuse women and girls under the guise of worship.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper reported that Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri led the calls for Zimbabweans to be vigilant and report all such cases of abuse to the authorities while officiating at a ceremony to celebrate promoted senior police officers in Harare on Tuesday.
This week, the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association issued a similar statement condemning the abuse of women and girls by pastors in some churches in the name of religion.
Both Chihuri and the association are urging women who have been abused to speak out.
The ZWLA statement said the new constitution supports women and provides for “the right to human dignity, which includes the right to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources.”
Of late, there have been numerous reports of women and girls being abused in churches by their pastors.
One example is the on-going case of RMG Independent End Time Message founder Martin Gumbura who is facing seven counts of rape and abuse after allegedly targeting women in his congregation.
MDC-T Women’s Affairs shadow minister Lucia Matibenga applauded the women’s organization and the police chief for speaking out against abuse, urging people to report all such cases in their communities.
“I therefore think that the way to go is the continuous raising of awareness, particularly when we have such statements, and also the media highlighting all these court cases,” Matibenga added.