Story by Fungai Jachi, Courts Reporter
The upsurge in cases of child sexual exploitation has become a major source of worry with statistics indicating that 30 cases of rape and aggravated indecent assault were dealt with at the Harare Magistrates Court last month alone.
The month of January saw the Harare Magistrates Court dealing with 30 cases of sexual exploitation, with 14 of the accused persons being convicted.
Some of the cases include that of a father who raped his teenage daughter and was jailed for 20 years.
Another conviction was that of a self-styled prophet who was jailed for 18 years after raping a teenager at his shrine.
A suspected serial rapist who was targeting teenagers in Harare was also arrested and appeared in court facing 14 charges of rape. He was remanded in custody.
Cases of child sexual exploitation are also prevalent in other parts of the country with a State lawyer stationed in Gokwe having been slapped with an 18-year jail term for raping his friend’s four-year-old daughter.
In Gwanda, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her father and another close relative.
However, measures to deal with perpetrators of sexual violence are being put in place, with the provision of a minimum mandatory sentence for rape being one of the amendments sought in the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill gazetted last year.
The amendment proposes a minimum, mandatory sentence for rape to be a 15-year jail term.