Category Archives: Global Records-Violence Against Women and Girls

Zimbabwe Touts made the whole world angry-My testimony

I woke up to my phone making endless sounds showing messages were going in at one minute intervals. Everyone who put a message in my whatsup was very angry. People were desperate for anyone they knew worked for women to just say something because action to protect women is often delayed and then denied. Men were very angry and these were good men. They wanted the Kombi rank touts and thugs punished. The men especially from Zimbabwe who live in South Africa expressed anger. Then I knew I had to watch the videos posted in my whatsup. I opened and saw over 20 video messages. Ogh my God, the woman was being stripped naked and they were shouting hure meaning prostitute and loose woman. The men doing this to her were identifiable.

All I wanted to know was whether the woman would survive. One good man came to her rescue during this physical harassment. Just one man who was kind came to her rescue  and we insist we know him so that we thank him for saving a life.

Of course this is not an isolated incident. I hear that two or so women were harassed the same way in the same week in Zimbabwe.Kenya too had similar incidents where men judge the length of your dress or skirt and decide to punish you for wearing mini skirts. What mini brains they have!!!

So now the big search is on the young woman to come to Zimbabwe Republic Police and press charges. It looks as if she is too traumatised to come out.  By the time this article was posted no one had confirmed this sister had come forward.Mind you, there is fear amongst the women from this background that if you go to police as a victim you may end up being blamed. The violations against their bodies take place daily whether they are in so called long or short dresses. Any woman can get beaten for whatever reason justified by some men. I think right now she is afraid to press charges after she was castigated by these touts  in public.

Zimbabwean problems and challenges politically and economically are quite complex. This mob of touts is a grouping of men who operate under guise of so called Kombi touts but to someone with a sharp eye these are unemployed men made powerless by the current harsh economic situation. They come from all over the country and most of them maybe involved in drug abuse. They are feared and they have terrorized many. They have been banned, re banned and re banned and banned again and again  and this shows they are unwanted in society, but they mushroom at different taxi ranks doing same works of terror.

Their easiest targets are women and girls. They hit targets on certain days and even demand sex for being set free. They survive on committing abuse on whoever they feel is weak.This one particular sister who got the world crying is but one of them. There are many young girls who get trafficked.

My question is whither to Zimbabwe? The answer is very simple. Lets deal with root causes rather than being hypocritical. The economic situation has to improve and good industries absorb all these young men and women lying idle. An idle mind is a dangerous mind. I am hoping though short term solution is to arrest the touts but long term solution is to ensure the economic situation improves. This is a signal that society is now rotten. Chinua Achebe is right when he asserts that Things Fall Apart.

Then for women`s movements who met and spoke against the harassment of our sister in Zimbabwe, I feel it is time all those hotel donor funded workshops stop. Here in UK no donor gives money for that at all. Funding goes to the service user. You need drop in centers for women and you also need to train women like her in community work that would empower her and other women to protect themselves. The women`s movement in Zimbabwe is very elitist-it is not known by those who need it most. How come this sister of ours does  not even know whether you exist to support her and she could have come to one of the organisations for women for support rather than going into hiding.

More work needs to be done in places of economic instability like Zimbabwe. Making press statements without this woman is hypocritical. Nothing without her is for her remains the truth.  That said, I appeal to anyone helping Zimbabwe to support drop in centers for women who suffer violence. I don’t care where funding goes to  but what  is key is to minimize elitist press meetings  when such life threatening events happen and start focusing on real support women need. We see such support here in UK where most of the funding comes from. The money goes to support services in counseling, housing, income generation and legal aid for  women like the  one who fell victim to the touts.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is former Chair of the Women`s Coalition in Zimbabwe -2005 to 2007

Female rapists with 33 condoms versus Male rapists with 33 girl victims in Zimbabwe – Be the judge

Picture shows 11  year old girl raped by 57 year old man and 8 months down the line rapist not arrested.The girl is now disabled and her spine dislocated)

In the last decade, I spent most of my time going to police stations and tracking cases of rape involving minors and not a single day did I see mobs of people thronging police stations to get a glimpse of the male rapists whose cases were so crystal clear. They did not need to be paraded to be identified by their victims. I had caught them red handed and all the evidence was there and yet I still had to prove they were rapists. I am very angry and frustrated with the harsh and tough actions against so called three female rapists caught with 33 condoms compared to the leniency given to some male rapists with 33 rape victims in Zimbabwe.
Over the decade when I intervened in many cases of rape in Zimbabwe, I never saw a single sympathizer in and outside the police stations displaying any form of anger or disgust against male rapists.

Mind, some girls had to undergo surgery on their uterus and vagina to put together whatever flesh remained after some gruesome rapes. A lot of girls fell pregnant and had to think of themselves being products of child rape and their children to be labelled thus. I saw blood oozing out of children`s vaginas and a lot of the time it was followed by pus. Many a times the odour would make you think the child would die quickly. There were many times when a child had to be taken to hospital only to be pronounced dead upon arrival – a rapist would have infected her with HIV and AIDS. No one thronged the hospital or even bothered to attend the many funerals of mostly orphaned and disadvantaged girls whose young lives were ruined by rapists. No journalist thought it news worthy or if they did through kindness for the story to be given a small corner to fill up a newspaper so that it was ready for publication. To think the three so called female rapists with 33 condoms would make every journalist in the world run up and down like we have seen in the past weeks generating over 500 news articles within a day has shocked me. I am just thinking of a situation where everyone sympathizes with semen in a condom more than the torn vagina of a baby. Nxa !!!

To be frank, I did not know that the Zimbabwean society was so against rape until a few weeks ago when three women were found with 33 condoms with semen. Just having the condoms turned them into rapists even though no victims had come forward. A car accident scene was turned into a rape crime scene within seconds and the women were paraded across the whole country for male rape victims to come and identify them. Mind you when I went to report rape to police stations with girl victims, they had the semen still dripping, not from a condom but from a child`s vagina. I had a medical report from a government registered doctor confirming rape and still no one thronged to the police stations to protest. Within hours of being taken by police I saw the rapist walking scot-free and not even his passport was condition for bail like I saw with the three alleged female rapists.

As I write this article I feel anger and disappointment at the way people have only supported male victims of rape and ignored the many calls of babies and little girls being raped in Zimbabwe. Right now, one alleged rapist I have been pursuing Dr Munyaradzi Kereke (Advisor to Dr Gedion Gono of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and a businessman in Zimbabwe) who raped his 11 year old niece at gunpoint and is still a free man despite my call to police to arrest him and my plea to journalists to expose him. Recently he was in the government newspaper donating to breast cancer screening for Beauty pageants.A Registered medical doctor in a government hospital whose report is in my possession right now confirmed that this man raped the girl and damaged her genital organs in a very cruel way. He tore a hymen of a virgin girl who had never thought one day at her age any male organ would get into her and leave her with both physical and psychological scars that are so deep and next to impossible to heal. It might be the case that he wanted the blood of this virgin girl to make his medical centre prosperous. I have a detailed police statement which my client gave to a senior police officer and it has just remained a statement like thousands of others at police stations in Zimbabwe. The child is living in fear and her mother has sought refuge in a foreign country in fear of being persecuted as Dr Munyaradzi Kereke has threatened the family many times.

Another rogue alleged rapist Obediah Msindo of Destiny of Africa Network was released by a high court judge after terrorising me and the junior magistrate who said he had a case to answer. Even to date myself and my client are still in exile and had to flee for our lives. The magistrate was allegedly fired and one senior officer in Attorney General Office who handled this case bravely was transferred to an unknown destination. Police did a fantastic job by keeping evidence of his semen and torn underwear under lock and key. Despite his semen being on this underwear as evidence he was discharged. To think police are searching for male rape victims when my victims of rape are ready and need justice has shocked me and has made me see what attitudes we must work against in Africa as a whole.
Now I read that the three alleged female rapists are being paraded in prison regalia with their hair and faces deformed after being granted bail. They are facing allegations of rape and already given the public insults that have come their way compared to Dr Kereke for instance who is scot-free and dining and wining with big people as if celebrating raping children is a good thing. What a shame!!

I am fully aware they will be punished but to be paraded in public and to have yourself paraded in every newspaper in the world to me sounds like public verdict. Whatever punishment follows after this one is not as terrible and severe as harassment they have faced so far. When women commit sexual crimes even if these are allegations they are guilty automatically. If men rape children and babies they are innocent until proven guilty. It can take a long time to prove them guilty than it takes for female rapists to be proved innocent. This is what the public law says and it is the one that works and is engineered by patriarchy.

I did not know rape was such a serious crime until recently when women were caught with 33 used condoms. Mind they were caught with condoms and not rape victims!!!!