Judge calls for sex offenders register

A HIGH Court judge has proposed a national database of all people convicted of child sexual offences in order to monitor their movements once released from prison, saying there is a tendency by such convicts to repeat those crimes.

by Stephen Chadenga

Officially opening the 2016 legal year of the Gweru High Court circuit in the Midlands capital yesterday, Justice Martin Makonese proposed a law to track sexual offenders, adding that child sexual abuse was an evil that should not be condoned.

“I would propose that a national database be created of all persons convicted of child sexual abuse for the purpose of monitoring sexual vultures, who tend to re-offend once released from prison,” he said.

“The appropriate legal framework should be put into place to ensure that the tracking of sexual offenders is done without violating constitutional provisions.”

The judge urged people to report child rapists, so the offenders could be brought to book.

judge makonese

He also censured religious groups that turn a blind eye and encourage the abuse of children, urging them to desist from such practices.

Turning to child marriages, Makonese said children should not be forced to marry or have sexual relations with a male person before they reach the legal age of consent.

“Child marriages have no place in any democratic and progressive nation,” he said.

Last week, the Constituional Court outlawed child marriages and struck statutes of the Marriage Act that previously allowed children under the age of 18 to wed.

Meanwhile, Makonese said efforts to decentralise High Court stations outside Harare and Bulawayo should be expedited, saying the current situation was not sustainable.

He said the workload at the two stations (Harare and Bulawayo) was “currently extremely heavy”.

The Judicial Service Commission recently announced plans to establish High Court stations in Masvingo, Gweru and Mutare.

The Gweru circuit has 19 cases, which would be heard in the next fortnight.

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