Gender violence laws should reflect values, says MP

Zimbabwe’s laws, including those to do with gender based violence, should reflect social values regarding the gravity of the offences, said MDC-T Harare West MP Jessie Majome.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean after moving a motion in the National Assembly on gender-based violence, Majome said this crime was mistakenly regarded as a common and acceptable social norm by some sections of society.

Admitting that it would be difficult to eliminate the crime, Majome said: “at least the sentences should be deterrent enough to sharply reduce the dehumanising acts.”

The legislator, who is the MDC-T shadow minister for justice, is pushing for mandatory sentences of 30 years and above for rape and fitting ones for other gender violence offences.

She is also advocating for adequate forensic scientific services at all police stations for investigating rape. “I am deeply concerned with the high rate of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe, which is followed by a low rate of apprehension, conviction and sentencing of culprits,” said Majome.

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