By A Correspondent- LEAD Presidential spokesperson Everjoy Chidindi has blasted government for politicising the early child marriages issue adding that it is unfortunate that the ruling party is choosing to ignore the plight of the girl child for political mileage.
In a statement issued Friday, Chidindi said her party demanded action and “will not rest until justice is done to the children of Zimbabwe by enactment of laws that protect the rights of all children.”
Below is the full statement by LEAD:
We are agitated as Advocates for the girl child because of Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi ‘s defense to the government ‘s continued reluctance to correct the inconsistencies between ages of consent to sex and marriage of the girl child.
LEAD is perplexed that government is reluctant to align laws to protect the girl child from unwanted teenage pregnancies, sexploitation, pedophilia and statutory rape. The issue of child marriages is a priority which every Zimbabwean should be concerned about.
We filed an application for the government to align age of consent to sex with the legal age of majority which is 18 years old. We did this with the hope for better change as we are witnessing a rampant rise of child marriages in our country.
As rational beings with human hearts, motherly hearts we expect the government to bear with us and raise the age of consent to sex to 18.
We are still in shock that the Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi dismissed the public appeal in Parliament with reasons that “consent for sex is based on morality and parents should teach their children morality.”
The reason being given by the Honourable MP and Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi is very dishonorable, weak and myopic. This has proved us correct that the government is delaying to take action because the perpetrators of child sexploitation are said to be ZANU PF supporters so they fear losing votes.
Hence it is now clear how they are suppressing the needs of the people and what is only right for their own selfish interests. The early marriage issue shouldn’t be politicized as it is a social issue which needs urgent attention by the legislative arm of our government.
It is unfortunate that the ruling party is choosing to ignore the plight of the girl child. We demand action and will not rest until justice is done to the children of Zimbabwe by enactment of laws that protect the rights of all children.
People ‘s interests must come first before political power retention. We expect government to honour their commitment of serving the people and all relevant ministries to protect children’s rights.
LEAD PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON EVERJOY CHIDINDI