The Plight Of The Girl Child
The recent sad development in our nation where a 14 year old girl child died at a religious shrine is very disturbing to say the least.
As a nation we have normalized the abnormal and rationalized the irrational, this should be confronted as we go back to the drawing board to pick up our morals and sensitize our conscience so that we protect the vulnerable girl child.
The situation is worsened by the move being taken right now where the family of the deceased girl is planning to give the man who is a perpetrator of such a crime a 9 year old girl, sister to the deceased as ‘chimutsamapfihwa’. The whole process should be denounced in the strongest terms possible and the people involved in the act must face the full wrath of the law.
If we remain quiet as a people we end up being accomplices in such cases. We need more voices to speak louder and louder to bring sanity in our society.
We can’t fold our arms and pretend everything is fine when the lives of young defenceless girls are at risk.
We need the clear strategies and actions as a nation to deal with this vice which has no place in the modern day Zimbabwe.
The barbaric and backward practice must be given a fatal blow to make sure it doesn’t rise again anytime soon. The girl child must be allowed to grow and enjoy her unique womanhood without being coerced into marriage or intimidated to give in to an early marriage. The women organizations in our nation and other progressive Zimbabweans must join hands and combat this atrocity with its tentacles.
While in Zimbabwe there is freedom of religion, the freedom should not oppress a certain fraction of our society. The law enforcing agents should make sure they leave no stone unturned in this matter. The law makers may need to revisit some sections of our constitution and amend them in light of such practices. The girl child has rights which must be upheld. She should be allowed to marry when she has attained the age of maturity as stated in the Supreme law of the Land.
This issue of some old men who claim to see visions that they should marry 10 year old girls must be addressed and the time is now. May justice prevail. The life of a girl child matters. She should not be exploited and abused as a sex slave.
Those self appointed gynecologists who were at the shrine who took part in this evil practice should be brought to book.
The case required medical personnel with medical prowess, but the child was denied that access. She died a painful death and this should be a serious cause of concern to any parent, and responsible citizen of Zimbabwe.
A big No to early child marriages and child abuse!!.
By Dr Elias Chakabwata PhD
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