Mnangagwa backs mandatory rape sentence

via Mnangagwa backs mandatory rape sentence – DailyNews Live 24 July 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba

HARARE – Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has backed harsh minimum mandatory sentences for rapists, but said the punishment should not apply in special circumstances.

Mnangagwa told legislators during question time in the National Assembly on Tuesday that it was important to prescribe mandatory sentences against crimes that violate other people’s rights such as the crime of rape.

He spoke amid a mounting clamour by women groups to impose harsher sentences to curb mounting rape crimes.

“The benefits of enacting mandatory sentence in rape outweigh its disadvantages,” Mnangagwa said.

But the minister said mandatory sentencing has worked well in other jurisdictions as it poses a deterrent factor and reduces the time courts need to decide on an appropriate sentence.

“However, it is vital that special circumstances be provided for in order to ensure mitigating and aggravating factors are taken into consideration since mandatory sentencing has been applied in other prevalent crimes such as stock theft and illegal possession of precious stones and minerals,” he said.

“It is worth noting, however, that prescribing mandatory sentence for the crime of rape should be done with utmost caution.

“It should, therefore, not follow that in every rape case, the mandatory sentence is given because the crime of rape happens in different circumstances. The factors that are laid out in section 65 of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act should continue to play in deciding the appropriate sentence of rape.”

Mandatory sentencing is a form of punitive sentencing where the legislature enacts a minimum sentence for a particular offence.


  • comment-avatar
    Shamhu YeNhanzva 6 years ago

    I am all for imposing harsher sentences for rape. Now how about looting & plundering the country’s resources & unlawful use of police & the army to steal elections? What’s the minimum sentence for that one? Anybody?

  • comment-avatar
    Nyati 6 years ago

    The crime is punishable by becoming the Justice Minister.

  • comment-avatar
    kutongwa nonjazi 6 years ago

    Zanu Pf are the law unto themselves. It is applied to the ordinary citizens not ma comrades

  • comment-avatar
    Straight Shooter 6 years ago

    It looks like rape is not rape when gukurahundis use it as a political tool to achieve gukurahundi “victory” in elections!!

  • comment-avatar
    Chibhakera 6 years ago

    Of course ignorance of the law does not absolve anyone of any crime committed. However enactment of legislation neither eliminates nor does it fully deter perpetrators as long as these prescribed laws are not made known to the public in the same way propaganda is usually dished out even to the most remote outskirts.

  • comment-avatar

    Mnangagwa is an idiot! RAPE is RAPE ask any woman.