Zimbabwe: Surge in Domestic Violence Worry Police

23 February 2021

Police have expressed concern over increasing cases of domestic violence which in some instances, end up with deaths.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they were working on campaigns to end gender based violence (GBV) and raise more awareness in communities in all provinces.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police plays a pivotal role in the fight against gender based violence and we have intensified efforts to work and educate people in all provinces on violence and also educating the public on the importance of the Victim Friendly Unit," he said.

He said the campaign would help communities to be knowledgeable about the problem of gender based violence.

Ass Comm Nyathi said the Victim Friendly Unit was established specifically to police violence against women and children, particularly sex offences. He urged the public to solve their problems amicably and to seek counselling from police, family members, church and community leaders whenever they had challenges.

Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said the situation had become worrisome in the province especially during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

"Domestic violence generally results in deaths or direct infliction of physical, sexual or mental injury," he said.

"Of late, we have had reports of this nature and in worst cases, lives are being lost. People should respect the sanctity of human lives and prioritise dialogue as the main means of redressing situations. Different organisations like the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe and Msasa Project have also bemoaned the increase in domestic violence cases."

Last December Police Sergeant Tichaona Chirinhe of Harare Central Police station killed his wife Julian following a dispute.

According to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), domestic violence cases have increased by more than 100 percent during the ongoing Covid-19 induced national lockdown with men also among the affected.

Institutions that fight domestic abuse have reported that psychological/emotional, verbal, physical, economic and other kinds of abuse have increased against both sexes.

ZGC's report was compiled in consultation with Government departments, the private sector, civic society, faith-based organisations and development agencies.

The report touches on how the lockdown has affected public service delivery, health matters, the economic sectors and families.

The commission has called on Government to address socio-economic problems especially targeting the most vulnerable in society.

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