Thursday, August 11, 2022

Women’s rights advocacy groups engage VFU on GBV awareness

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Clayton Shereni 

MASVINGO– The Covid-19 induced lockdown has caused many socio-economic problems, with Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases spiking during this period, it has been established.

Masvingo has not been an exception in these cases and many cases have been reported at various police stations in the province. 

In an engagement meeting between the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) and local women, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) provincial chairperson, Joyce Mhungu said they had been some positive developments in their engagement with VFU. 

“As WCoZ Masvingo chapter, since the inception of Covid-19 we held several meetings with women in a bid to monitor rights violations and emergent socio economic issues. Through the meetings, several duty bearers were identified and dialogues held with the different offices to seek redress. 

“Notable improvements were noted but not as expected as we still have service delivery challenges. The last grassroots meeting we held under TRACE led to the engagement with the police and their VFU department. VFU public relations have improved as they now accommodate our calls anytime,” said Mhungu. 

VFU Masvingo district coordinator, Inspector Tawanda Tongofa said they were swiftly addressing GBV cases and that they had increased VFU officers who are dedicated to dealing with GBV issues only. 

“We received some cases from our previous meeting with people from Manyama area and the issues have been addressed. We have VFU officers at some of our bases especially in town and other bases in rural areas have these officers. Those who have GBV cases must go and report those cases to VFU,” said Insp Tongofa. 

Masvingo police force has increased their VFU presence who are dedicated to deal with GBV issues and sexual harassment victims. 

Cases of sexual harassment and GBV have been rife in the province and one of the areas where this is rampant are mining areas including Manyama, Bhuka and Bhani. 

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