The world was stunned when it’s favourite love song composer and singer R Kelly faced allegations of sexually abusing young women. It was hard to deal with the fact that the man who was idolised by so many people could be accused of such things.
Of course, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty and with R Kelly a determination has not yet been made in relation to the charges. However, these allegations must be aligned with previous allegations against such influential people in which they were found guilty. Just last year comedian Bill Cosby was found guilty of child sexual abuse. The world is indeed still dazed by these developments in which high profile celebrities and influential people, to whom the youths look up to, end up abusing that trust.
These issues are not alien to the Zimbabwean society. Several well known people have been caught on the wrong side of the law in as far as sexual offences are concerned. Martin Gumbura was a renowned pastor who unfortunately chose to molest his female congregants. The man of cloth was said to have abused a lot of women and girls in his church in the name of religion. He had several wives. He was eventually convicted of rape and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.
Munyaradzi Kereke was a top government official who was alleged to have raped a ten year old relative at gunpoint. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the heinous act
Walter Magaya stirred controvesy after being accused of raping a female member of his church. Although the trial is yet to commence, there had been a lot of speculation over the prophet’s guilt in the matter.
These cases highlight the plight of women and the girl child in our society. Earlier this year,there were reports of military soldiers raping women and girls in the clampdown against protestors who were participating in protests
As we celebrate international women’s day, such issues must be put into perspective and protective measures should be adequately put in place.