Thursday, June 1, 2023

Gweru CSOs condemn GBV, call for severe penalties

…as Imprisoned Gweru councillor appeals conviction at High Court

Tinaani Nyabereka

GWERU – Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have condemned acts of violence against women and called for severe penalties deterrent enough to would-be offenders.
The call was made following a recent GBV case that saw Gweru ward 16 MDC Alliance councillor Tawanda Magidi being convicted for assaulting and seriously injuring his wife over a food preparation dispute.
In a statement released on July 12, Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) Gweru chapter said cases of GBV are now rampant amid concerns over worsening of the situations noting that community leaders have joined the band wagon.
“As WCOZ, we condemn such behavior especially from a community leader and a duty bearer who is expected to be an exemplary figure who resorts to non-violent disputes resolution strategies.
“While we appreciate that the law has taken its course, we strongly feel that the sentence given is not deterrent enough for would be offenders,” read part of the statement.
Another organization, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) in another statement condemned the acts saying they are in violation of the rights of women.
“Sections 51and 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (no.20) 2013 highlight that every person has the right to dignity and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment.
“While Section 52 states that 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.
“The National Gender Policy of 2013 clearly lay the foundation for the elimination of Gender Based Violence in Zimbabwe, which include protecting women from GBV, eradicating harmful social practices, as well as strengthening institutional and coordination mechanisms for addressing GBV which must be followed by every resident of Zimbabwe.
“MDC-T Gweru Ward 16 councillor Tawanda Magidi’s alleged actions are a direct violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) 2013 and all of the treaties, conventions, charters and optional protocols on the rights of women and girls. GRRA calls on all duty bearers to lead by example,” read the statement.
Gweru Magistrate Progress Murandu slapped Tawanda Magidi with a 12 month jail term and suspended the other six on condition that the accused won’t repeat the same crime over the next five years.
However Magidi is said to have already appealed the matter to High Court through his lawyers as he denied the charges levelled against him saying they were meant to sabotage his political career.
Magidi reportedly went on to assault the complainant Vongai Muchaneta (his wife) with bare hands on the cheeks. He further took a pick handle and struck the complainant on the back several times.
After the incident the complainant however, fled to her rural home in Bikita since she had been told by the accused that he no longer had an affection for her and wanted to marry another wife instead.
The matter only came to light after the complainant disclosed the matter to her relatives who reported the matter to the police.
The complainant however went for medical examination and a medical report was produced.
Further investigations which were conducted revealed that Magidi was once cautioned over acts of violence as such incidents had occurred before on other victims.

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