Shamiso Yikoniko and Langton Nyakwenda in Mutoko
Rapists — particularly those who target minors — should get stiffer penalties to deter such abuse, First Lady Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa has said.
She also hailed Government for scrapping hospital fees for children under five years old, senior citizens, expecting and nursing women.
Cde Mnangagwa said this at Mutoko’s Mother of Peace Children’s Home where she spent the greater part of yesterday and donated various goods and foodstuffs.
She encouraged women to report rape to police “even if the accused is your husband”, and spoke strongly against child molesters.
“Vana ava vanoda security … from the tours I have made so far, I have realised that rape is rife among minors, with close relatives being the main perpetrators. And yet, the current rape sentence isn’t deterrent enough.
“The authorities should make the sentences stiffer to deter future perpetrators from carrying out the same act. Rape perpetrators shouldn’t be left scot-free.
“Guardians are protecting rapists at the expense of abused minors. All rape cases must be reported even if the accused is your husband or neighbour. In a rape case, the victim is the one who suffers the most, hence perpetrators must be severely punished.”
The First Lady toured facilities at the home, interacting with children and the elderly.
She donated rice, sugar beans, cooking oil, salt, sugar and bath soap to children’s homes that include Mother of Peace, All Souls, Home of Hope, Ivordale, Domboshava, Makumbe, Shearly Cripps, Abbot Francis, Imba, Goshen, Tanyaradzwa, Vana and Marondera Child Care Society.
Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs Minister David Musabayana said: “Tinokutendai amai nekuzvininipisa kwenyu. We need your assistance as our mother, especially in areas of education for the children.
“We want to thank the First Lady for remembering the people of Mashonaland East. In Mashonaland East, we have plus or minus 50 000 vulnerable children and they need your support.”