The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) takes note of the press statement by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) titled ‘Update on a case of rape involving a 9 year old girl in Tsholotsho’ dated the 26th of November 2022. In the statement, the police confirmed that the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) obtained in the matter revealed that the father of the sexually abused 9 year old’s child was her 13 year old cousin.
The police also stated that they are now working with other relevant arms of government to ensure that the due process of the law is followed. As investigations into this matter continue, it is our hope that the protective systems set up in terms of the law such as the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) and the Department of Social Development will create a conducive environment for the child to feel safe enough to reveal ALL the incidences and perpetrator or perpetrators of the abuse without fear.
Thereafter, we look forward to the safeguards set up within the criminal justice system, that is, the Victim Friendly Courts to provide yet again, a conducive environment to ensure that justice is not only seen to be done but is indeed done. Worrying statistics on child abuse in Zimbabwe recently revealed by the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Development showed that 58% of the 435 cases of rape reported from January 2022 to September 2022 involved minors. This trend in abuse of children should stop!
The LRF reiterates that children in Zimbabwe have a Constitutional right to protection from sexual exploitation and all forms of abuse as provided in s 81 (1) (e) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Children are also entitled to adequate protection by the courts and justice should run its course in this and all reported matters so that other survivors of abuse feel safe and secure to report cases of abuse. Zimbabwe would have failed to meet its international and Constitutional obligations if children are not protected from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Contact us: 16 Oxford Road Avondale, Harare, Tel: 0242 333 707/ 334 732
Toll free (Econet numbers only) 08080402 Website: www.lrfzim.com Twitter: @LRFZimbabwe Facebook @LRFZimbabwe
LRF PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE