Zimbabwe Constitutional Court raises age of sexual consent

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court has ruled that the age of consent be raised from 16 years to 18. The case was brought by two women who were married as children. eNCA correspondent Pindai Dube has this story. Courtesy of #DStv403

HARARE - Zimbabwe's age of sexual consent has caused much controversy.

The country's Constitutional Court has ruled that the age of consent be raised from 16 years to 18. The case was brought by two women who were married as children.

READ: If there's no consent, then it's rape

The lawyer in this case is also an opposition party leader. He described the ruling as a victory for vulnerable girls.

Lawyer Tendai Biti said, "eventually, with the support of friends here and overseas that is, Georgetown University, VERITAS we brought this court application which fortunately the court has held that the age of sexual consent is now 18."

"But it will not stop child abuse but it will mitigate, just like the laws against murder don't protect people being killed, but at least they offer a deterrents. So we hope the government can come up with comprehensive children protection law to protect children, particularly the girl child because these are precious people in community."

Women Rights activists are also celebrating the judgement.

Whispers Movement director Sibo Buhlungu said, "it is a celebration and something to worth writing home about, because from an activists point of view now we are able to hold the perpetrators accountable, no one is supposed to indulge in sexual activities with a child below the age of 18."

"If you are caught we are going to deal with you, you are going to be arrested and we will take you to court. That is our language as activists."

Activists in Zimbabwe have always argued that the 16-year age for consent was too young and it allowed for the exploitation of young girls.

Source
eNCA

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