Uproar over release of rape convicts in presidential amnesty; CCC says move grossly negligent, illegal
By Staff Reporter
A PUBLIC uproar has erupted following the release of rapists pardoned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the latest presidential amnesty.
Mnangagwa last week pardoned 4 279 prisoners comprising 4 166 men and 104 women drawn from the country’s 47 prisons.
Videos of rapists celebrating their freedom went viral Friday with shocking revelations that some had served less than a year of their term.
Following this, some Zimbabweans have demanded that the decision be reversed as it puts women in danger.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere said the rapists’ release was in contravention of the law.
“Unleashing unrehabilitated rapists back into the communities where they committed rape not only ultra vires the amnesty instrument, it’s a grossly irrational, negligent act that must be condemned by all progressive voices who care about the safety of women and girls.
“It’s not about emotion or how one feels. It’s about the law. The amnesty instrument doesn’t permit the release or rapists of any age. At the very least, follow the law!,” she said.
Film maker and government critic, Hopewell Chin’ono says this move means Zimbabwean women are not safe.
“The Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa recently gave amnesty to prisoners who had committed the most heinous and odious crime, RAPE.
“In normal countries, amnesty is never granted to rapists or people who have committed violent crimes. Women are not safe with this regime!”
One pardoned elderly man said he was convicted after raping a nine-year old girl.
One Brighton Mrewa wrote, “The responsibility lies with Zanu PF and Mnangagwa, and it is imperative that you reverse this.”
Taona Denhere added that rapists can qualify for parole even in the UK or USA, but they must’ve served at least more than half of their sentence to qualify and on condition of good behaviour .
“Also these gvts put measures such as electronic tags, engaging with probation services on fortnightly basis. Also the rapists aren’t allowed back to return back to the very communities they committed their crimes. Not allowed to contact the victims, are also put on sex offenders register. And are released on license, that is with reporting conditions to the probation officer,” he said.