CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: CHINHOYI 19 October 2018
On the 21st of February 2018 ZCIEA 3rd National President Ms Stella Chivandikwa reported to the ZCIEA General Assembly council that Kariba Territorial organiser (name withheld) sexually abused her niece. The General Assembly advised her that she should report the matter to the police without delay. In early March she reported the matter to Nyamhunga Police Post in Kariba and the perpetrator was arrested. The matter was heard before Kariba Magistrate on the 29th of March 2018. The accused pleaded not guilty and was awarded bail during the Court hearing. The matter was referred to Chinhoyi Regional Court. Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) has a Zero Tolerance policy on sexual abuse/ harassment. As a result, on the 7th of May 2018, the organisation embarked on a campaign against child sexual abuse at Chinhoyi Magistrate Court.
ZCIEA Structures across the country join hands with Chinhoyi and Kariba territory and demonstrated peacefully at the main gate of Chinhoyi Magistrate court with T-shirts and holding placards with message on the campaign against child sexual harassment.
ZCIEA National President Lorraine Sibanda, 2nd Vice National President Egnes Mumba, National Women’s Chair Charity Mandishona and Chitungwiza Territorial President Ratidzo Mfanechiya attended the court proceedings together with 3rd Vice National President Stella Chivandikwa whose niece (name withheld) was sexually assaulted by one of ZCIEA member from Kariba Territory. The organisation campaigned against child sexual abuse and does not tolerate sexual harassment/abuse.
The Court noted that there was a discrepancy in the way the police had recorded the crime. The police recorded one count of sexual assault whereas interviewing the child the court asserted that there were several counts against the accused. It was alleged that the accused would take the child into the bush or back of the toilet, rape her and entice the child with sweets and a few dollars to buy things at school. It was also heard that the accused would threaten the child not to tell anyone what was happening.
On the 30th of May the organisation continued with its campaign against Child sexual abuse. However the accused was remanded out of custody to a further date and was before the Magistrate in June, July, August, and September. After several court sessions on the 19th of October 2018 the court made a final judgement under contravening Section 65 (1) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act (Chapter 9:23) which ruled that the accused was guilty and sentenced him to 18 years in Jail for raping a 12-year-old girl on three occasions. Chinhoyi Regional magistrate initially sentenced the accused (name withheld) (60) to 20 years in jail but set aside two years on condition of good behaviour.
- The rights awareness trainings which ZCIEA give to its members when put to use help to reduce the crime rate in future.
- the Kariba community and Kariba Town council has more respect, recognition and also valued ZCIEA as an organisation which foster child protection. This case was published on Nyaminyami fm radio and Herald Newspaper, link: https://www.herald.co.zw/mdc-official-jailed-20-years-for-rape/