Call for mandatory sentence on rape cases

By John Nhandara

Stakeholders have implored lawmakers to enact legislation for a mandatory sentence for rape cases and other sexual offences.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development has already presented a report of its findings from the public hearings carried out in all the country’s ten provinces on mandatory sentences for rape cases.

“We have tabled our report to Parliament. We held our hearings and the general overview is there must be a minimum sentence of thirty years,” said Hon Chido Madiwa -Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Women Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

Adding their voice on the need to come up with a mandatory sentence for sexual offenders is the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, which believes in crafting deterrent sentences for would-be offenders.

“As a commission, we are in full support of the mandatory sentence and we hope there will be legislation to that effect,” noted Chairperson-Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Margret Mukahanana Sangarwe.

In 2017, the government proposed a mandatory 60-year jail term for people convicted of raping minors aged 12 and below and those living with disability and a 40-year term for other rape cases.