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Biti Warns Govt Against Mandatory Rape Sentence

Biti Warns Govt Against Mandatory Rape Sentence

Harare East legislator Tendai Biti (CCC) has urged the government not to impose mandatory sentences for rape cases, arguing that it is against the principle of separation of powers as it will take away the powers of the judiciary.

Biti was giving his views in response to the Ministerial Statement that had been presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi.

Ziyambi argued that mandatory sentences are meant to deter offenders from repeating the crimes.

However, according to Biti, the judicial thinking now is that mandatory sentences are unconstitutional because they breach the right to a fair trial. Below is part of Biti’s debate:

I support strong sentences but I also must caution Madam Speaker Ma’am that we must trust the Judiciary. The Judiciary is tried and tested.

The Judiciary has got mechanisms in which they can balance the society’s anger against this brutal invasion called rape and also the interest of justice, including the subjective circumstances of an accused person.

Therefore, I urge the Minister to push for this judicial colloquium and ensure that at the Judicial Colloquium, there are world experts that will speak on the issue.

There are regional experts, there are African experts and there are Zimbabwean experts that should guard that colloquium and come up with recommendations that will be put to the Ministry and Government.

Biti went on to cite a case dealt with in the Ugandan Constitutional Court, the matter of Alice Kigula and another v Attorney General. He said:

There are two important judgements on the African Continent. One of them is a decision of the Ugandan Constitutional Court by their Chief Justice, Justice B.J Odoki in the matter of Alice Kigula and another v Attorney General.

In that case Hon. Speaker Ma’am involved the imposition of a mandatory penalty of death when there were no extenuating circumstances.

… The Ugandan Constitutional Court through Odette J, held that if a court cannot inquire on sentence beyond extenuating circumstances, you have tied this court and therefore it is unconstitutional.

That same line of thinking was followed in the Malawi Constitutional Court, in a case called Kafandala (State versus Kafandala).

The Malawian Supreme Court came to that conclusion again that you cannot tie the hands of the judiciary.

The judiciary must have the power to inquire bottom liability and on sentence.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, this is consistent with the principle of separation of powers.

More: OpenParly

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Bullish 4 weeks ago

Tried and tested legal guru Biti. I,with nostalgia, remnisce the last day I withdrew my US dollars via a ATM in 4th Street. Then u were finance minister. Not zvana Ziyambi Ziyambi, Kazembe Kazembe and Musuli Mutuli.

Worzell Gummidge 4 weeks ago

Ndinewe ipapo. Biti is my favourite politician of all time. He is a legal mind par excellence. I was reading about a mother, who, after fighting with her husband, influenced her daughter to lie to the police that her father had raped her. The daughter told the court the truth and the mother admitted that she had lied to fix the husband. Now, imagine if a mandatory sentence is impossed on innocent men who are being fixed by bitter & vengeful women? One of the alleged victims in R Kelly's case is insisting that she was not raped but was in love & they were engaged. I don't believe that R Kelly is the Monster they are portraying to be. But he does have a pedophilia problem it seems. Looking foward to the appeal...

Putin 🇷🇺 4 weeks ago

Vadzidzise hako Tindo. Vakazodzidza vabva kuHondo saka zvaingove zvekuti vawane ma Certificates

....... 4 weeks ago

im not a lawyer but zvataurwa apa ndazvinzwa .

Why Not 4 weeks ago

Sexual intercose with a minor below 18yrs must attract mandatory sentence as a mandatory measure, vanaBiti vanezvinangwa, ngaende kwake kuZambia, anopa interpretation yemitemo yeko

Not Why 4 weeks ago

KiZambia kunoendwa nablaz vako vescarf born and bred in Kitwe. Biti bata bete uri better lawyer than Ziyambi zombi

anony 4 weeks ago

anenge abata chibharo ngaagurwe nhengo yake asare asina. Vakadzi abata ngaasonwe buri

Turoo 4 weeks ago

@anony, I like this idea😂

Ninrod 4 weeks ago

Rape is a hideous crime which should attract a very high sentence. There are various types of rape and it's only fair that experts( judges & magistrates) should dissect the type of rape that an alleged offender faces, simply because they are the experts. zvino tikati vana Chinotimba, vana Nyabani, etc vaite impose a mandatory sentence...uum it doesn't sound right. Vanotora the populist view vo nyudza vanhu for life. judges know best


Phidza 4 weeks ago

Munhu achimbojaidzirei ko nhingi yake kubata vana araper ngaaorere kujeri mabhinya evanhu kuda kujaidza


I for one, and numerous others see sense in what Advocate Tendai Biti is saying that mandatory sentences infringes the power of the judiciary to pass sentences as they see fit.

In Zimbabwe, a glaring example is sentences in stocktheft where we have the mandatory sentence of 9 years. Stocktheft is largely defined as theft of domesticated animals which includes cattle, goats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, ducks, etc.

A cattle is more valuable than a chicken and sensibly can not have the same sentence with a chicken. In my example above, the powers of a judge to pass a sentence commensurate with the value of stock which was stolen is infringed.

I fully understand what this legal guru, Advocate Tendai Biti's argument is and do hereby support him.



Yours sincerely
William Sonboy CHINEMBIRI

Nimrod 4 weeks ago

Rape is traumatic, true. The circumstances in which rape occurs are diverse and it's only fair that each event must be judged separately from another. Parliament has more demanding areas to legislate for rather than this. Pliz hands off on this one. L et the judiciary do it's part. Don't tie up the hands of judges and magistrates!
lyo stock theft yakapedzwa here ne mandatory 9 years dzacho dzakaiswa?

Chimboti Pizza 4 weeks ago

What Advocate Biti is saying makes sense but judicial system inombodisappointer sometimes, like pakapihwa munhu only 3 years in prison for murdering his wife over a chicken dispute or pakapihwa munhu less than 5 years in prison for her second case of attempted murder. Pakadai kana parliament ikapindira zvinenge zvakatonaka

Gwedu 4 weeks ago

On Point Sir✔️

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