Gender Based Violence accounts for 25% of Midlands murder cases


GWERU – A grim statistic has emerged from the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe: a quarter of all murder cases processed by the Gweru High Court circuit in 2023 were a result of gender-based violence (GBV), according to High Court Judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa.

Gender based violence GBV in Zimbabwe accounts for 25 percent of murders in Midlands
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During the opening of the 2024 legal year at the Gweru Magistrates Court, Justice Kabasa revealed that of the 55 murder cases handled by the Gweru Circuit last year, 14 were due to GBV

The court is also set to deal with four GBV-related murder cases during the current circuit, which is expected to run for the next two weeks.

Justice Kabasa described GBV as one of the most prevalent forms of human rights violations globally, requiring concerted efforts to combat it. 

"Of the 55 cases dealt with in 2023, 14 deaths were as a result of gender-based violence. 

"The current circuit court has a total of 18 cases and four of these are as a result of gender-based violence. 

"This is a worrying trend as it shows a 25 and 22 percent occurrence rate," she said.

She emphasized the sanctity of life, a fundamental human right enshrined in Section 48 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

"Women have been killed by those who vowed to love and cherish them," she lamented.

While acknowledging that men can also be victims of GBV, Justice Kabasa noted that the perpetrators are predominantly men, with women being the primary victims. 

She called for society's support in complementing the government's commitment to eradicate GBV, stressing that violence does not solve issues.

Justice Kabasa also expressed concern over the rise in armed robberies and the peddling of illicit drugs. 

She commended law enforcement officers for their efforts in apprehending some perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

The judge highlighted the worrying trend of drug and alcohol abuse among the youth, which has resulted in an overburdened mental health system. 

She urged parents, guardians, and the public to support law enforcement agents in their efforts to apprehend drug peddlers.

"We all have a part to play in making our society a reflection of who we are, a people with cultural, religious, and traditional values to be proud of," she said.

Justice Kabasa underscored the judiciary's role in shaping the social, economic, political, and cultural systems of a state. 

She emphasized that citizens should look to the law for redress and that courts should dispense justice expeditiously to maintain public confidence in the justice delivery system.

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