Women’s Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni has expressed concern over a spike in child sexual abuse cases across the country.
Speaking at the national commemorations of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV) at Maramba Primary School in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, Nyoni said the shocking statistics should not go unnoticed.
“Statistics from the police show that during the period of January to September 2022 a total of 435 rape cases were reported and of these, 58% involved minors. This figure is too high to be ignored. In addition a total of 959 sexual violence cases and 1 038 domestic violence cases were reported during the same period. These are figures of reported cases, but we are fully aware that so many similar cases go unreported all in the name of preserving the family name.” said Nyoni
She added “During the course of the year we have also witnessed very shocking cases of sexual abuse of children. These experiences have pained us, and we need to say a big “no” to gender-based violence (GBV) to preserve and save human life and the future of our children, especially girls.”
A nine-year-old girl from Masekesa village in Tsholotsho recently gave birth to a baby boy after being allegedly raped by a close relative.
Another nine-year-old girl from Bindura is reported to be six months pregnant after being raped by two 17-year-old brothers.
Preliminary investigations by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission on child marriages and sxual exploitation have pointed to rampant abuse of minors across the country’s ten provinces amid calls for stiffer penalties on perpetrators.