WASHINGTON DC —
The Women’s Assembly of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has urged police to fully investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of gender-based violence and child abuse saying these heinous crimes are on the increase in Zimbabwe.
In a statement to mark 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the Women’s Assembly said courts and police should be highly professional in order to tackle cases of women and child rape, domestic violence and child abuse.
The Assembly noted with grave concern the increase in cases of gender violence, women rape and child abuse, saying this is fueled by economic challenges faced by Zimbabweans.
It said indications are that at least 15 women are raped daily in Zimbabwe. “This is totally unacceptable and a cause for concern as it invariably means an increase in the transmission of HIV/AIDS.”
The Assembly further noted that it was commemorating this event on a sad note as the controversially elected Zanu-PF government has embarked on an “inhuman exercise of demolishing people’s houses across the country exposing many families, especially the women and children to live in squalor conditions.”
“As the women of Zimbabwe, we are concerned by the failure of the Zanu PF government to turn around the economy which has resulted in most families failing to fend for their children and an increase in children dropping out of school due to hunger.”
The MDC Assembly said it is important that as the party commemorates the 16 Days of activism against gender-based violence, “we call for an equal Zimbabwean society where women and men equally enjoy human rights access and control of economic resources, social service and are meaningfully active in national discourse and democratic governance.”
This year’s theme is; “From Peace in Our Homes to Peace in Our Communities and Campaigning Against Child Abuse and Rape”.
Reacting to the Women Assembly’s calls for professionalism in the courts and police, Harare-based house wife Lindiwe Nyoni, said most perpetrators are still on the streets because of corruption within the police force.