The Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs is mulling amending the country's sexual offenses legislation to give traditional leaders powers to try rape cases in rural areas, TellZim News can reveal.
The ministry held a workshop at Chevron Hotel last week Thursday where stakeholders decried the ever increasing cases of rape as well as reports of offenders getting away with their crimes.
The Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs Midlands provincial development officer, Sithembile Dube promised that chiefs will have the power to try and sentence rapists before the end of the year.
Chief Chitanga, Felani Chauke, of Mwenezi voiced support for the new plans and pledged to work with government to fight sexual offences in his jurisdiction.
"Considering the fact that rape cases are only dealt with by the police and higher courts, most perpetrators in rural areas are getting away with it. We will be glad to deal with such issues and we promise to deliver," says Chief Chitanga.
Also present at the event was assistant director in the Ministry of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Lovemore Chisirimunhu, who urged the police to take rape cases seriously.
He was responding to allegations by one participant that a rape case which happened in Mucheke recently was not being given requisite attention.
The workshop was graced by representatives from My Age Zimbabwe, police, Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), local lawyers, nurses and teachers.local