First Lady Grace Mugabe yesterday stunned people attending World Blood Donor Day commemorations in Chinhoyi when she called for rapists to be beheaded saying they were inflicting untold suffering on women.
"Those who commit heinous crime like rape should be immediately sent to the gallows kuno chekwa musoro chaiko because munhu iyeye haana kukodzera kurarama," said Mugabe while officiating at the event.
The commemorations come at a time the country is facing a critical shortage of blood.
World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative David Okello said it was sad that many mothers were dying during childbirth.
Okello said statistics showed that one out of every 38 women died from pregnancy-related complications, particularly relating to bleeding during childbirth.
"No mother should be allowed to die giving birth to life. This is a very sad thing and the most common cause of a mother dying during childbirth is bleeding. In Zimbabwe we are losing too many mothers," he said.
Minister of Health and Child Care, David Parirenyatwa also said mothers were losing lives during child birth unnecessarily as blood had become too expensive. He said blood was now out of reach of many ordinary Zimbabweans. A pint of blood costs between US$80 to US$240.
"We are losing 525 women out of every 100 000 pregnant women. That is too much and one of the major reasons is shortage of blood," he said.
Parirenyatwa said 15 000 units of blood purchased through Healthy Transfusion Fund were not enough and it was now high time fiscus allocated money towards blood procurement.