GBV contributes to high numbers of murder cases

Statistics reveal that 60 percent of all the murder cases taken to the high court are due to domestic violence, says the Women’s Affairs minister, Oppah Muchinguri.


Speaking at the Women’s University in Africa on Monday, soon after a protest march to commemorate the life of Isabel Masuka, who was allegedly murdered by her husband, Lewis Matanda, 45, at their Waferfalls home in Harare on April 19, 2014, Muchinguri said citizens are not using existing laws and policies on gender based violence to their advantage.

Following Masuka’s murder, Matanda then proceeded to his rural home in Gokwe, where he killed himself a week later saying he was failing to come to terms with why he had killed his wife.

Muchinguri despite the existence of the Domestic Violence Act that discourages and deals with GBV, violence in the home was still rampant.

Muchinguri lamented cultural practices such as the payment of bride price, which she said gave men “ownership” of their spouses, thus encouraging GBV.

She said men took advantage of culture to engage in acts that violate women’s rights.

“Men define culture. They bend culture when it suits them. I urge students in tertiary institutions to research and establish the root causes of GBV, especially because women are mostly at the receiving end of violence,” said Muchinguri.

She urged mothers to inculcate peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms in their children as a way of raising responsible citizens.

“It is not easy shaking patriarchy. We have made progress but every one of us needs to invest in helping reduce GBV. Peace begins with you…and peace begins with all of us,” said Muchinguri.

She said government was in the process of setting up an inter- ministerial committee to ensure the implementation of programmes on prevention and response to GBV.

Representing the Director of Padare/ Enkhundleni/ Men’s Forum, Kevin Hazangwi, Emmanuel Gasa lamented the implementation mechanisms of GBV laws and policies.

“We are saying no to legislation that has no provision for action. We are tired of perpetrators of abuse who are using their political muscle to evade prosecution,” he said.

He urged men to take a leading role in championing violence in the home saying that “men of quality are not afraid of equality.”

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