Vongai Mbara Herald Reporter
Child rapists deserve life imprisonment and the ongoing amendment of the Children’s Act should address the issue decisively to deter potential culprits, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Prisca Mupfumira has said.
Speaking at the SOS Mother’s Day ladies brunch held at Crowne Plaza Hotel recently, Minister Mupfumira said many children’s lives were destroyed as a result of rape and her ministry was doing everything possible to ensure stiffer penalties for child rapists.
“As a mother, it really pains me to see our children’s lives being destroyed by rapists,” she said. “If a person who steals one cow is sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment, then what more of a person who takes away a child’s pride and ruins his or her life? They deserved to be jailed for life.”
Minister Mupfumira said the process of amending the Children’s Act had already begun. “We already have people in Nyanga working on the amendments and we hope that soon, an amendment deterring child rape will be passed,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira said it was the role of mothers to prevent child marriages. “Anyone under 18 is a child and should be given a chance to enjoy childhood,” she said. “It is our duty as mothers to protect our daughters from child marriages. Some mothers are selling their young children because of greed and it is such a shame to our com- munity.”
Minister Mupfumira thanked SOS Children’s Village for its charitable work in ensuring that children are sheltered and educated.
“I would like to applaud SOS on behalf of the ministry for their generous work,” she said. “We, as the Government, cannot do it by ourselves, but it is organisations like you that help us get the job done in securing our children’s lives.
“Let us keep on helping each other and encourage our children to do their best and shine above all.”