Harare, June 19, 2014-The Zimbabwean government has declared war on crimes of sexual violence which are reported to be on the increase despite efforts to arrest perpetrators.
Statistics from the Zimbabwe Republic Police indicate that female rape and sexual violence is on the increase with a total of 3 571 adult women and 7 411 female juveniles having been raped from 2012 to the first quarter of 2014.
Launching a national campaign against rape and sexual abuse of children, Vice President Joice Mujuru declared that rape has to stop and relevant government arms should bring sanity and order in communities and the church where rape and sexual abuse are happening and on the increase.
She said though a number of laws have been passed, gaps still remain in their implementation.
“Whatever is the cause or motivating factor I say this is wrong. It is bad. It is shear madness. It must stop. As government, after realising the alarming increase in the number of cases of rape of minors and elderly women, we established an inter-ministerial committee on rape,” said Vice President Mujuru.
UNFPA country representative Dr Basile Tambashe revealed the United Nations is in the process of purchasing a machine to be installed at Harare Hospital that will provide and detect forensic evidence of rape to police and other stakeholders.
“We are setting up a one stop centre where forensic evidence of rape will be detected at Harare Hospital. Another one will be established in Rusape and Gweru,” Dr Tambashe said.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Oppah Muchinguri said rape violates individual rights and often survivors suffer psychological, physical and spiritual effects in their daily lives.
The launch of the campaign against rape and sexual abuse is coming against the backdrop of shocking incidences, among them a father in Buhera who raped and impregnated two of his own daughters aged 14 and 16.
A five year old girl from Gokwe was also raped by his uncle and had her uterus ruptured.
Another shocking incidence is that of a 104 year old granny who was raped by a 22 year old man.
The launch was also attended by Harare’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa among other guests.