Collapsed economy linked to abuse of women and children

Pathisa Nyathi

Pathisa Nyathi

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
27 March 2014

The deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe is exacerbating violence against women and children, leading historian Pathisa Nyathi has said.

In recent months there have been several reported cases across the country, highlighting the brutalisation of women and children through rape or ritualistic killings.

Last week three men from Gwanda appeared in court charged with murdering four women and cutting off some of their body parts for ritual purposes.

ZANU PF activist Lillian Kandemiri was recently jailed for offering her 15-year-old grand-daughter as payment for a $40,000 debt.

This week Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the State to compensate Mildred Mapingure who was denied an abortion after she was gang-raped in her home eight years ago.

On Wednesday President Robert Mugabe said he receives “disturbing child sexual abuse statistics” and went on to call for a campaign against the rape “epidemic” saying stiffer penalties alone will not help.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Big Picture Programme on Thursday, Bulawayo-based historian Pathisa Nyathi said legislating against the general breakdown of the moral fabric will not work.

“The exploitation, rape and ritualistic murders and violence perpetrated against these vulnerable groups are grounded in the country’s economic collapse.

“Stiffer penalties will not work because as long as people are hungry they will engage in these anti-social behaviours and unfortunately women and children are the victims,” Nyathi said.

He said that ritual murderers carry out their crimes in the misinformed hope that body parts that are associated with fertility will help improve their financial status.

Nyathi also said the nationwide campaigns suggested by the president will not work in a deprived population.

“Those in authority should sort out the economy first, create employment and ensure that people are able to fend for themselves, because deprivation is a source of frustration and for some people, this manifests itself through violent behaviour.”

Abigail Matsvai, of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, said while the socio-economic environment can be partly blamed for violence against women and children, the real problem lies in the way Zim society understands gender relations.

“The problem also lies in our perception of who has value and who doesn’t, and in Zimbabwe there is a tendency to think that women and children have little value,” Matsvai said.

She also pointed out that the nature of the violence and brutality was becoming increasingly gruesome.

“We want to encourage women and children to report these cases where they happen and increasingly we are seeing more and more of these cases being reported.

“But also we are also seeing an increase in the magnitude of the nature of these violations,” Matsvai added.

4 Responsesto “Collapsed economy linked to abuse of women and children”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    I will argue that any linkage of rape and murder to a collapsing economy is clearly incorrect, irrelevant, false and absurd. This assertion can not be supported by empirical evidence. I will explain why. If that was a true statement, then rape and murder could not be some of the serious crimes that are daily committed in most developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the United States, to name just a few countries. During the times of economic boom and prosperity, these crimes are still committed by criminals.

    As a historian of repute, as we are made to understand, Pathias Nyathi should expend his energies in teaching our children, the history of Zimbabwe dating back to the days of slavery, colonialism to the present times.

    • SlaptheZanuMonkey says:

      Please at least try to change your tune once in a while, you complete imbecile. How you can even open your mouth in response to such a respected academic is beyond comprehension. The sh*t that spews out of your mouth is endless!! Although amusing, it is also profoundly tragic. If you are a true example of a Zanu PF Zombie, God help Zimbabwe. Please try and live up to your true status as a ZPF whore and little b*tch for the maComrades during the liberation struggle.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Of course, I fully aware you can not handle the truth, you fcking rhodie. If you are that clever, then us where the linkage lies. Give us a big surprise by enlightening us. Are you an intellectual or a mere jobless rhodie?

  2. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    I have changed my mind vari guilty

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