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Monday, July 15, 2024

Juvenile deliquency spike a cause for concern

Story by Fungai Jachi

JUVENILE delinquency is increasingly becoming a cause for concern, with children frequenting the courts as accused persons, with some facing charges of serious crimes that include armed robbery, murder and rape.

Parents are equally confused on what could have gone wrong for children to become burdens and not blessings.

Could it be bad parenting?

“As parents we are equally confused as to what the problem with our children is.

“Maybe children are too exposed to the television and internet and now they are becoming uncontrollable.

“Parenting styles are now different and maybe we are not being strict enough as parents that is why our children are easily becoming notorious,” said parents who spoke to the ZBCNews crew.

Some of the latest cases include that of a 14-year-old girl from Harare who was convicted for sexually abusing two brothers aged 10 and six.

Another case was of a 16-year-old boy from Bulawayo who was also convicted for a sexual offense after he raped his 10 year old sister on several occasions.

They were both given wholly suspended sentences, with a legal expert noting that child offenders are spared custodial sentences to allow them to reform.

“The courts always ensure that children who commit crimes for the first time no matter how serious the offense are spared jail. This is done to ensure children are given a chance to reform because incarcerating them is not the best option. However, repeat offenders might not be treated the same,” said Legal Expert, Mr Moffat Makuvatsine.

A 15-year-old boy was remanded in custody on charges of murder, while a 17-year-old boy appeared in court on charges of armed robbery after he allegedly stole his father’s gun and used it to commit the offense.

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