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Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomeNewsMusasa Implores Zimbabweans to Respect Human Dignity

Musasa Implores Zimbabweans to Respect Human Dignity

Women and girls rights group, Musasa Project has called on Zimbabweans to respect human dignity following the gruesome death of 14 year old Memory Machaya who died whilst giving birth at a shrine in Marange recently.

In a statement, Musasa Project expressed concern over an increase in the number of sexual abuse of minors under the pretext of religious and cultural practices in the country.

“A young life is gone. Dreams shattered. Potential lost and a future vanished in a highly exploitative situation and sexual abusive environment. Early marriages are a violation of child rights as well as fundamental rights and rights due to children. Yet all this could have been prevented. It’s time for Zimbabweans to respect human dignity and stop all forms of violence against women and girls in the spirit of Ubuntu and respect of sanctity of life.

“Sexual abuse of minors is a growing pandemic in Zimbabwe. This is due to toxic religious and cultural practices leading to unfortunate cases such as Memory Machaya case. She is one in many adolescent girls affected and such cases often continue with impunity,” read the statement.

The organisation added “Musasa applauds the Government effort, Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Small and Medium Enterprises, the gender Commission and other development partners in their efforts for justice in this case. The constitution of Zimbabwe (Section 78 (1) declares eighteen years (18) as the minimum age of marriage in Zimbabwe. The case of Memory Machaya and other innocent children out there clearly reflects how this provision is violated.

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“The same Constitution demands the State to take appropriate measures in ensuring that children are not pledged in marriage, (section 26(b). Musasa recognises the efforts of the Government in the existence of the Children’s Amendment Bill 2021 and being a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has expressed concern over cases involving religious men abusing women and girls.

“We are concerned that so many cases involving popular religious men who have been accused of abusing women and girls have not resulted in a transparent investigations and prosecution trail. In some instances, the result has been suspended sentences.” ZCC said.

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