Saturday, May 21, 2011

Surge in Domestic Violence Sparks Demonstration in Zimbabwe

Surge in domestic violence sparks demo

Friday, 20 May 2011 22:36
Zimbabwe Herald

WOMEN waved placards during a demonstration against domestic violence in Harare on March 20, 2011

Herald Reporter

HUNDREDS of women yesterday marched through central Harare denouncing men who are abusing their wives as cases of gender-based violence surge.

The women marched from Town House to Africa Unity Square singing, chanting and waving placards inscribed messages slamming gender-based violence.

"Cut down a tree get a stiffer fine but axe a wo-man and get away with it," and "Stop murdering women now" read some of the placards.

The protest was triggered by the case of a senior provincial marriage officer, Gordon Tsuro (49), based at Makombe Building, who allegedly bashed his wife using an axe handle on Monday night and left her for dead. Rosemary Charlie, who is now recuperating at Chitungwiza Central Hospital, sustained multiple fractures in the arms, ribs and legs.

She is reportedly in a critical condition.

In a related case, last week a law officer Wallen Chiwawa allegedly burnt his wife with a red-hot iron before raping her six times after accusing her of infidelity.

He also allegedly rubbed hot spices into her private parts. Chiwawa was arrested on charges of marital rape and domestic violence.

Addressing the protesters, Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Olivia Muchena voiced concern over a surge in domestic violence cases.

She called for a holistic approach in ending gender-based violence.

"Ending gender-based violence calls for a sustainable programme of action by various stakeholders, not just women. Every woman should use the four Ps we have adopted as a ministry which are prevention, protection, participation and programme.

"We urge everyone in society to work towards preventing domestic violence and protecting both men and women against violence in the home," she said.

Minister Muchena urged members of the public to participate in activities that seek to end domestic violence.

"Action that is planned, organised and well thought out is action that will make an impact and end domestic violence. Zimbabwe needs such a programme at all levels of society to end this scourge," she said.

The Minister urged the judiciary to impose stiffer penalties on perpetrators of domestic violence, saying the current ones were "relaxed".

Her deputy Jessie Majome added: "The Domestic Violence Act gives room for everyone to report domestic violence even if it is not in their home. Everyone should take part if the scourge is to end."

No comments: