President Robert Mugabe has called on youths to desist from engaging in early sexual activities, while also taking a dig at older people who are abusing children.
Speaking during the official opening of the 22nd session of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said government was concerned about the increasing cases of child abuse including the rape of minors.
"Something has gone wrong with the social and moral fibre of our society. The problems of child sexual abuse, child neglect and even infanticide now need to be addressed at all levels of the society," he said.
"The government is going to intensify the necessary social and policing interventions in order to eradicate what is turning into an epidemic."
Mugabe also opened up about his boyhood saying children must not rush into early sexual activities. The Zanu PF leader said when he was young, even his late mother Bona, was worried that he could not court girls because of his love for books which made him what he is today.
"I was very bookish and did not want girls to interfere with me that my mother would ask vana Sekuru kuti asi mwana wangu arikuda kuita fata, hamumutsvagirewo here? Vaifunga kuti handigone kunyenga, aiwa ndaigona kunyenga," he said. [she asked my uncles whether I was considering being a priest and asked them to find a girl for me, she thought I could not chat up a girl. I could.]
Mugabe claimed there were people bent on ensuring that his government collapsed.
"When the elections came in July last year, we had a sweeping win pushing aside those who concentrated on women," he said.
Mugabe said the failure to pay professionals, including teachers, contributed to the slowdown of the economy as qualified personnel were leaving for countries such as Botswana and South Africa.
"The future of a nation lies in the youths, so education must give them knowledge and skills which they can use to prosper their lives and the nation," he said.
"It is you the young whom we have faith in and we depend upon you to pass on that entity we call Zimbabwe so we continue to live."
Meanwhile, child president Nhlanhla Moyo said the government must remember the commitments made when the country ratified the United Nations Convection on the Rights and Welfare of the Children in 1990.
"We seek to pursue the rights of every child in Zimbabwe and we wish to bring to the attention of our government the condition we are growing up to," said Moyo.
"As the child parliament of Zimbabwe, we do not seek to create a world far away from our reality. We seek to be heard and not just to be seen."