Politics & General News

Violence against women- time to act

He has systematically developed, honed and methodically crafted his insatiable habit of brutally savaging his wife for no apparent reason, he thinks he is law and his wife a punching bag. If you are his landlord you are in for a shocker as Zacharia (not his real name) will threaten to beat you up if you dare rebuke him from bashing his young and defenseless wife. He is a brute who religiously believe that a wife must be beaten at all costs if she crosses his line or happens to offend him. His landlord recently got tired of Zacharia ruthless wife bashing antics and restrained him using minimum force, but Zacharia was not amused by the minimum force exerted by the landlord who ganged up with his two sons to refrain Zacharia from effecting further punishment on his wife, who was wailing and crying for help. Zacharia reported to police that he had been ‘assaulted’ by his landlord. The police opened an ‘assault docket’ against the landlord who was quickly frog marched to the police station at around 2 am.

Zacharia has a habit of coming from his drinking binges very intoxicated in the early morning hours and he usually plays loud music in his bedroom. He loves playing Thomas Mapfumo Chimurenga music when he wants to beat the daylights out of his wife. Zacharia is not a very old person he is in his late 20s but his chimurenga music makes him old. When he starts playing the loud music, then you know that he has thought of mercilessly and savagely beating his wife. The music is played loudly to muffle the sounds of his wife crying and the sharp crack of his whip usually crafted or engineered by using electric cables. The loud music ‘motivates’ or drives him to unlimited levels where his demonic spirit bay for blood and the pitiful cries of his wife begging him to leave her alone quenches his ego appetite urging him to continue beating his wife.

Zacharia’s wife is not alone; most women are suffering in silence as they are usually bashed by their husbands in a feat to ‘save’ marriages. Domestic violence has reached unprecedented levels in Zimbabwe and Kwekwe has its fair share. Most of the cases that go reported you will find out that most women are beaten by their husbands for silly ‘offences’. According to police in Kwekwe causes of domestic violence vary but the most common are emotional where a husband or wife does not provide any form of assistance for the family be it food, a spouse is restricted or confined in the house, is not allowed to visit relatives or friends, no freedom of association. Then comes physical abuse which is the most common, where husbands beat up their wives. Economical abuse is when a husband or wife abandons his family financially by not paying all family financial obligations.

Most cases of domestic violence go unreported but the police are engaging on campaigns to the public that they must report cases of domestic violence so that the law must take its course.

“We offer counseling before the act to avoid violence. There is no counseling after the act. Those who beat their wives if reported will appear before the courts of law and it’s up to the courts to fine them, sentence them to community service or give them custodial sentence. Our campaigns are bearing fruits as most of the unreported cases are now reported to the police. We got suggestion boxes and whatsapp numbers to be used by members of the public to report crime”, said police in Kwekwe.

The police in Kwekwe appealed to members of the public to desist from vandalizing suggestion boxes and sending nude pictures on police whatsapp numbers.

Zacharia and his kind will have respect for women’s rights and accord women the dignity they deserve. Zacharia’s wife reported to the police that her husband was always beating her daily kicking, punching and beating her using weapons like logs, whips and electric cables and the landlord was always coming to her rescue. A compromise was reached where Zacharia was forced to drop charges of assault against his landlord or he would be arrested for beating his wife. But what was of concern was that the landlord was forced by police to pay medical bills for Zacharia, but Zacharia’s wife suffered in silence as she nursed her wounds and pain inflicted by her husband. Her body is heavily tinted with scars she got from Zacharia’s years beating and abusing  her with electric cables and logs. This showed outright abuse of women in line  that the police only were concerned about Zacharia’s ‘wounds’ and his wife was not considered for medical treatment.

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