Beitbridge Senator Tambudzani Mohadi has proposed that the government should impose stiff punishment for men who marry young girls.
“I think we should call the Minister concerned and then we propose stiff penalties for those who marry children under the age of 18. You will recall that last week I raised a question of a girl of 18 years who was abused by a certain businessman in Beitbridge. The matter was taken to courts and the perpetrator went scot-free without the consent of the mother and it was just like that. I am having a problem when coming to this issue. Those who sometimes read papers will find that in Beitbridge again, even though I cannot say much about the issue because it is before the courts, a perpetrator took two sixteen year old children,” she said.
“He pretended that he wanted to marry them. When I was alerted about the issue, I went to that House and found that the other girl was sitting on the veranda. She was almost seven months pregnant. The other one was inside the House. When I tried to find out what was happening, he said he wanted to marry them. I asked as to who gave him consent to marry these children because they are under the age of 18.”
She said no one agreed because she had gone there with their mothers and they were crying right through, but the perpetrator was not arrested.
“I am urging that the courts deal with these issues on a serious matter because even though you report, the police will take the matter forward. When it gets to the courts, I do not know what happens. Those people are released and they go scot-free at the end of the day. Our Constitution clearly says that an issue of a 13 year old child is taken as rape case, but I do not know what really happens,” she said.
“I urge members that let us be very serious when we are talking about these matters because as long as we just talk about them and leave them here, nothing is going to happen and our children are going to be abused. They will also not have a chance to go to school because a 13 year old is supposed to be at school but they are now called mothers. What kind of a mother is that one? Where else can we find a mother of that nature? Even ourselves at this age, you find that marriage is a difficult thing but what about 12/13 year child