Published On: Fri, Nov 4th, 2016

Women gone rogue…for a good cause

ZimbabweNewsday Correspondent: Tariro Daphne Senderayi

As the month against Gender Based Violence kicks off, in the city of Harare it was nothing other than fireworks. Last week Zimbabweans held their breath as a video of the most grotesque physical abuse circulated on social media platforms like a veld fire. Many were outraged, some shocked and a few not moved at all. But the general consensus was outrage at how a man could unleash such untold hell on a woman like that only because she owed him USD $6. Is any life worth that amount people questioned as this “Shebeen King” displayed his murderous intention on this woman?

Concerned citizenry took to social media platforms especially on Facebook ranting and raving about how this resident of Budiriro needed the taste of a jail cell and that surely the wheels of justice should turn against the Shebeen King. Unfortunately, the outcome of the so called wheels of justice fuelled the beginning of yet another outrage. This time it was with mostly women in the civic society and women’s rights activists. The amateur wrestler was not slapped but tapped on the face with a paltry fine of USD $50 rid of jail time. They began a protest on Facebook that spoke to the words “injure one, injure all.”

These women raised the pertinent questions as to how this man could have been allowed to get away with his murderous intentions. The same women felt the justice system was letting all women down and in fact exacerbating the occurrence of gender based violence. This being because by making the perpetrator pay a fine it was not deterrent enough for him to desist from such inhumane behaviour. They questioned who the presiding magistrate was over the matter, if he or she was in their sober senses to hand down such a controversial judgement. They firmly believed for this magistrate to hand down the said judgement there was an exchange of money between hands and had to be exposed. Of most importance they knew that Mr Shebeen King as he was now known was about to receive a clear message from women from across the civic society divide, and this message was to be delivered by the outraged women themselves at his doorstep.

Women organised themselves and about 20 representatives took the time out of their busy schedules Tuesday late afternoon to take part in delivering the message. These women went to the perpetrators place of residence to sing and dance and made sure that their message got across those who were keen to listen. In as much as when they got there the perpetrator had somehow caught wind that there were people who were hunting him down, he had fled, the message was crystal clear.

Despite the fact that the perpetrator was inclined to cowardice tendencies, there was a positive outcome of the protest by these iron ladies which actually pushed the magistrate who presided over the matter to table the case as a mistrial. This means that the case shall be reheard and we await to see the outcome thereof.

Women are indeed their sister’s keepers and as we delve into the activities of November we should keep in mind that women are the cornerstone of all communities and everyone goes through their nurturing hands from birth. Men should not be allowed to butcher and toss women at any whim just because they can. It should be acknowledged that violence is a weapon adopted by the weak. So any injustice suffered by women is an injustice to all of us.

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