said if Zanu-PF wins the elections, it will take stern measures against perpetrators with a battery of new and stiffer penalties.
Speaking at the golden jubilee and 50th graduation ceremony at Bondolfi Teachers’ College, the President said it was crucial to uphold good values and protect the dignity of children and women who are often the victims of sexual violence.
He said Zanu-PF would impose severe sentences on those who rape children and enter into gay marriages.
“Every Mondays I get briefings from the police. Tinenge tiri tese nana (Vice President) Amai Mujuru and we hear so many cases about adults who are raping children.
“It is really bad for a person to rape a child, just that little space of time and the man fiddles with the young child, what kind of behaviour is that?
“We will make sure that if we win the coming elections we will put in place laws that make it highly punitive to rape a child. People who do that vanofanira kufira mujeri, we want to have what we call a value system.
“It is even more surprising that in countries like Britain you have some cases where churches like the Anglican solemnise gay marriages, a culture where a man marries another man. Kutora mazirume maviri movabatanidza moti matochata, that will never, ever happen here. We will not allow homosexuality, never,” he said.
The President decried the lighter sentences that are being imposed on those who rape children, saying a future Zanu-PF Government would not tolerate that.
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“You have a situation where a person who is arrested for raping a child is slapped with a sentence of just three years. What is that? We want very stiff sentences to be meted on the offenders.’’
President Mugabe hailed the Roman Catholic Church for not being entangled in solemnising same sex-marriages, saying the church had a very critical role in moulding citizens who are morally upright and with good values.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces hailed churches for playing a leading role in the development of the country through the provision of education since the days when missionaries set up churches and built schools throughout the country.
He challenged those in leadership positions to be guided by principles, saying good leaders should never deviate from doing what is good for the people no matter the implications.
He said his Government embarked on the land reform programme to rectify colonially engineered land ownership patterns that favoured whites to the detriment of the black majority, a move that led to the imposition of economic sanctions by some countries led by Britain.
“We are people of principle, we do what we say we do and we do not go back. When we say we want to do something, we really mean it and we will do it. Leaders should be driven by principles and not expediency. We should never sacrifice our principle on the altar of expediency. We do not want leaders that are not principled, leadership should be guided by a code and that code should revolve around the interests of the people,’’ Cde Mugabe said.
President Mugabe poured glowing praise on revered African statesmen such as Ghana’s founding President Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, who he said were classic examples of principled leaders.
He took a swipe at former British Prime Minister Tony Blair whom he said was not principled and told lies about the state of affairs in Zimbabwe leading to the illegal imposition of economic sanctions.
“We had (Tony) Blair who was a Labour Party British prime minister who reneged on agreements that we had made with previous British governments that they were supposed to fund the land reform programme here in Zimbabwe. Blair reneged on that and we moved on and said we were taking our land without compensation and what did he do? Blair moved around Europe and lied that there was no democracy in Zimbabwe, no rule of law and Europe slapped us with sanctions yet the real issue was about taking our land,’’ said the President.
He pointed out that the illegal sanctions had been ruinous and had negated developmental strides made since independence.
President Mugabe vowed that the Government would not waiver giving control of Zimbabwe’s natural resources to Zimbabweans.
He said Mr Blair together with ex-American President George W. Bush were liars and criminals who had caused strife in such countries as Iraq and Libya after removing governments there on flimsy excuses yet their real motive was to loot resources especially oil.
“They lied about Iraq saying Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and Saddam said I don’t have them it’s you who have them but they moved in and deposed him and today there is no peace in Iraq. They repeated the same trick on Libya, now it was (British Prime Minister David) Cameroon, (ex-French leader Nicholas) Sakorzy and (ex Italian premier Silvio) Berlusconi, they ganged and killed Colonel Muammar Gadaffi and his family in cold blood. Berlusconi briefly left his business of always having prostitutes and attacked Libya,’’ he said.
President Mugabe hailed Zimbabwe’s education system for being a nursery of skills for other countries in the region which were now tapping that skilled labour for their own development.
He said Zimbabwe was also assisting other countries in the region even in other areas such as training of security personnel.
“Dzimwe nguva zvinotonyadza kuti kana uchifamba kumwe woti you are Zimbabwean because Zimbabweans are everywhere, our young educated people are all over, go to South Africa there are in leadership positions there, they run companies and go to Namibia its all our people who are running things there and we will continue to assist those other nations with our skilled people after they were underdeveloped by their former colonial masters. We are even assisting countries like Namibia in training their security personnel,’’ said the President.
President Mugabe, however, lamented the failure by young Zimbabweans to form their own companies saying Government was ready to assist young skilled locals to start their firms without the help of whites.
He said it was disheartening to note that locals continue to seek partnership with whites even when they want to exploit some mineral claims saying blacks should be masters of their own destiny who are prepared to Africanise the economy and control the means of production.
The President said the tendency by indigenous people to always rely on whites when they want to start companies had forced Government to initially push for 51 percent indigenous equity in all foreign-owned companies but said the ultimate goal would be 100 percent ownership by locals.
President Mugabe expressed happiness that most churches in the country had indigenised as they were now being led by black people.
He also said the country’s education system should not prioritise the intellectual development of students saying it was also crucial to impart practical skills in them.
President Mugabe later on presented prizes to 17 students who graduated at Bondolfi after three years of teacher training course.
He also donated 20 computers to Bondolfi Teachers’ College and pledged to source a bus for the institution.
Masvingo Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Bhasera hailed President Mugabe for making his maiden visit to Bondolfi Mission saying his church was happy with the relationship it had with
Bishop Bhasera handed over a Catholic rosary from Rome to the President and some holy oil from Israel to bless the Head of State.
A total of 80 students graduated at Bondolfi.