WASHINGTON DC —
The debate on the administration of corporal punishment has taken a new twist in Zimbabwe after Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku weighed-in following a case in which lawyers are arguing that it should be abolished.
The lawyers, under the banner of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, base their argument on the new constitution.
According to a report in the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Justice Chidyausiku decried the abolition of corporal punishment saying this may lead to moral decadence among the youths.
Chidyausiku is quoted by the newspaper as saying, "In other countries that do not allow corporal punishment, how do the children behave? Do you think it will be acceptable in Zimbabwe to have cases of children going to school with knives and guns in their jackets?”
The debate was sparked by a case of a juvenile sentenced to caning for rape in which the Constitutional Court is being asked to confirm the judgment passed by a High Court judge.
However, one of the lawyers arguing for the banishment of corporal punishment, Tendai Biti, also the president of the People’s Democratic Party, told Studio 7 other countries have already dumped this kind of punishment.
"The report in The Herald is not accurate," said Biti adding that “when you argue a case judges ask questions. It doesn’t mean that a law has been written.