ZimRights condemns GBV against women
On the 4th of November 2020, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) monitoring team together with the ZimRights Manicaland Provincial Chairperson – Ms Mildred Muzanechita were in Nyamaropa verifying a case of Gender-based violence in Manyengavana village – ward 14 of Mutare South Constituency under Chief Zimunya.
ZimRights learnt that what started as a community court case led to violence against a woman, Naomi Mudhombozi and her son. Naomi’s husband, Antony Binhingu who had married another woman approached the community court to have Naomi removed from her matrimonial home. He was ordered to fulfill his cultural obligations of lobola, which he had not fulfilled since the consummation of the marriage 22 years ago. Upon being presented with the list of lobola requirements, he got angry and vandalized their matrimonial property including taking off the the roof of the house.
Sections 51, 53 of the Constitution provide for the right to dignity and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment. Section 52 gives the right to personal security and states, “Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity which includes the right to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources”.
Furthermore, the National Gender Policy of 2013 sets out strategies towards elimination of Gender Based Violence. These strategies include the formulation of policies to protect women from GBV, eradicating harmful social practices, instituting gender audits and evidence-based research and documentation on GBV as well as strengthening institutional and coordination mechanisms for addressing gender-based violence at all levels including increased financing towards awareness activities.
ZimRights is concerned that while the abuse and vandalization targeted Naomi for reporting the case to Headman Muradzikwa, the seven (7) year old son bore the burden of witnessing this violence and being left without shelter. Speaking to ZimRights, the son said the dispute between his parents has pained him and is concerned about the safety of his mother following his father’s threats that he will do more harm.
There has been a rise in cases of domestic violence against women and girls across the country during this Covid-19 induced lockdown. Domestic violence against women and girls
is a violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and all of the treaties, conventions, charters and optional protocols on the rights of women and girls.
Gender-based violence is an impediment to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal 5 that seeks to ensure the observance of gender equality. ZimRights calls for an end to gender based violence and encourages families to dialogue should there be issues instead of resorting to violence.
Report Issued by
Murime P. (Mr)