A TOP government official has urged police to be ruthless when dealing with perpetrators of gender-based violence, mainly rapists. BY KENNETH NYANGANI Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba made the call at a gender-based violence workshop in Mutare yesterday, saying she was worried over the surge in rape cases in the province. The workshop, organised by the Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development ministry, was held under the theme, Strengthening and Enhancing Accountability in response to sexual gender-based violence during emergencies and pandemics. Gwaradzimba told participants, among them Chimanimani West MP Nokhutula Matsikenyere and Mutasa North MP Chido Madiwa, that during the COVID-19 pandemic, her office had received scary statistics on gender-based violence. “I am receiving scary statistics on gender-based violence during this COVID-19 period. Although I don’t have numbers today, under this lockdown, people are supposed to stay at home, so many things are happening at home,” she said. “Gender-based violence is a worrisome problem. I am urging police to be ruthless when dealing with issues to do with gender-based violence. Please police, bring to book perpetrators of rape and arrest them.” Gwaradzimba also accused some police officers of taking bribes to protect perpetrators. “It is now time for action. We should structure a system to deal with the issue of gender-based violence, let’s educate people in churches, schools, universities and other areas rather than coming to hotels.”
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