Caning boys primitive, Biti tells judges

via Caning boys primitive, Biti tells judges – NewZimbabwe 11/11/2015

CHIEF Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on Wednesday reserved judgement in a case in which lawyers are seeking the outlawing of judiciary corporal punishment on grounds that it violates and degrades male juveniles.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), which is represented by Tendai Biti in the case between the juvenile and the state, argue that Section 353 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act is unconstitutional and is an attempt by the State to drag the country back to the 13th century era.

Biti told Chidyausiku, who was sitting with the full bench of the Constitutional Court, that there were other effective methods of punishing accused juveniles such as placing them in probation houses.

“Corporal punishment is both physical and psychological torture. There is no yardstick to determine the force used in corporal punishment,” Biti told the court.

“There are other effective methods of punishing juveniles such as the issue of probation houses. This court must be on par with international laws. Corporal punishment is torture, cruel, retributive and primitive.

“The imposition is an infringement to the right to dignity. The two most important rights are the rights to dignity and the right to life,” Biti said.

The state counsel told the court that administering corporal punishment on convicted juveniles was currently taking place under the prison regulations in which the offender was canned on the buttocks while wearing a short, vest and kidney protector in the presence of the juvenile’s parent or guardian and a medical doctor or a state registered nurse.

“It is not unconstitutional. Corporal punishment cannot be said to be cruel or inhumane. There is nothing unconstitutional about beating your child but it should not be brutal. It is the view of the silent majority. We have our own values as Zimbabwe and we should not be swayed by other communities,” the state counsel, Ms Zvedu said.

The punishment is only administered on male youths who are below 16.

David Hofisi, a lawyer with the ZLHR, said besides being cruel and degrading, corporal punishment was null and void.

“It is null and void in terms of the law. It does not have a constitutional leg to stand on. Prohibit corporal punishment as a form of punishment. The trauma suffered by the juvenile is far worse than that of an adult.

“It is the aspirations of the people’s will through the Constitution,” Hofisi told the Constitutional Court judges.


  • comment-avatar
    Richard 7 years ago

    It’s so worrying people debating about not hanging dangerous criminals.These criminals kill innocent souls and at the end of the day people are standing up for these criminals and no one is worried about those who they killed.
    Killing criminals is a way of showing that they don’t belong to the society at all cost.
    Shame on you.

  • comment-avatar
    Zambuko 7 years ago


    If the majority is silent on the matter of the state beating boys how did Zvedu know what they think with sufficient confidence to become their spokesperson?

    It is not the parent beating the child. It is a paid civil servant beating the child.Clearly Not it takes a village to raise a child!

    Honey, what did you do today?
    I beat someones else’s child.
    Did it hurt?
    Not me.
    Will you get a bonus this year?

    Zvedu thinks that Zimbabwean’s should not be influenced by “other communities”. Sociologically speaking is that even possible?

    My only consolation is the thought that, like a school debate when you take a team position, these are not her real views. She is acting in the theater of the court room.

  • comment-avatar

    Back in school those days, the bad boys who got six of the best (canes) from the senoi

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    Back in school those days, the bad boys who got six of the best (canes) from the headmaster came back and would walk tall and tell us cowards …you know. And for some reason ,the girls loved them.For sure I remember as a prefect telling our headmaster in is office,who had the day after canning ,during assembly 4 boys presented to the whole school, that ‘sir those boys are now hereos among the boys’ and the girls loved them like i said.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 7 years ago

    Spare the cane/rod and spoil the kid…….FINISH!! thus the way to go

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    elinor kennedy 7 years ago

    do we want to live in a violent society? I was never hit. I never hit my son. I dont expect him to hit his wife or his children. We do accept rewards and punishment. W
    e are high achievers, -enough said