By A Correspondent
The enactment of the Children’s Amendment Act brings forth a significant shift in legal responsibility, as parents and guardians now face potential criminal charges for offenses committed by their children, it has emerged.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently signed the newly-gazetted Act into law, signaling a stringent approach to parental accountability.
Under the amended legislation, failure by parents to instill discipline and prevent their children from engaging in criminal activities renders them liable to prosecution.
The Act broadens the scope of liability, encompassing scenarios where parents either directly or indirectly facilitate their child’s involvement in unlawful acts.
Specifically, Section 13 of the Act outlines various scenarios where parental culpability arises, including instances where parents encourage, train, or provide facilities for their children to commit offenses.
Moreover, a parent or guardian failing to take reasonable steps to prevent their child from committing a crime, when they had the capacity to do so, could also lead to criminal charges.
Crucially, the law underscores that any individual, irrespective of parental status, found guilty of these offenses will face penalties equivalent to those imposed for the child’s wrongdoing.
Furthermore, the Act imposes strict consequences for parents who unjustly deny medical treatment or access to medical care for their children, with fines up to level 5 or potential imprisonment for a year.
This legislative overhaul underscores a commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and ensuring parental accountability in curbing juvenile delinquency.
As the legal landscape evolves, the responsibility placed on parents to actively deter their hildren from criminal behavior becomes paramount, with legal repercussions awaiting those who neglect this duty.