MATOBO Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa has called for mandatory 30 years to life sentences for rapists, as is the case with stocktheft.
Observers have said the laws seemed to protect cows more than women, as there is a mandatory nine-year jail term for each beast stolen.
Some rapists have escaped with lesser sentences, something Mlotshwa said should be ended with the introduction of mandatory 30-year to life sentences.
“Elderly people when raped, the sentence must be life imprisonment that is the demand we are making if you rape a minor or an elderly (person).
“Then, the other categories of rape, we demand to have 30 years upwards,” Mlotshwa told senators on Tuesday, according to the Parliamentary Hansard.
Mlotshwa was delivering a motion saying the International Women’s Day, which is celebrated annually on March 8 be declared a national holiday.
“We are observing that on rape, sometimes you find that the offender is given community service whereas that same perpetrator will live with the victim in the same area. Suppose it is a father and child like it has happened in Matabeleland South?” she said.
“I have seen so many males that are doing community service for rape and they go back home and live with the same victim.
“This is very unfair to women?”
According to statistics from the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStat) last year, about 500 women were sexually abused every month in the first three months of 2014.
Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, during the anti-rape campaign launch last year, said almost 11 000 women and girls were raped between 2012 and the first quarter of 2014.
“Statistics from the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) indicated that in 2012 to the first quarter of 2014 a total number of 3 571 adult women and 7 411 female juveniles were raped.
“Ladies and gentlemen, these trends are unacceptable,” Mujuru was quoted saying.