Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya (CCC) has called on the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi to bring a Bill to Parliament that will address the age of consent to sexual activities.
A few weeks ago, the Constitutional Court ruled that 18 years was the age of consent to sexual activities, not the 16 years which was in place.
Such a Bill will align the age of sexual consent with the legal age of majority which is set at 18 years in the new constitution.
Speaking in the National Assembly recently, Chikwinya said sexual activities for children under the age of 18 years should be criminalised. He said:
I take cognisance of the fact that the Constitutional Court recently passed a landmark judgement in which it moves the age of sexual consent from 16 to 18 years.
I, therefore, call upon the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to come to Parliament with a bill that actualises the provisions but criminalises the involvement of sexual activities for children under the age of 18 years so that at least we make it a reality for us to protect these children who are below the age of 18.
Speaking on the same matter, Harare East legislator Tendai Biti (CCC) said the Justice Minister must come up with a comprehensive bill for protecting children. Said Biti:
The implicit ruling by the Constitutional Court is that the Child Protection Adoption Act must also be revisited.
It still sets the age of a child at 16 and does not offer sufficient protection, particularly for those children between 16 and 18.
Also, children still face discrimination from the inheritance point of view. So, I have a daughter called Zoey, she cannot inherit from my own estate, which is why the Constitutional Court says the government must come up with a comprehensive bill protecting children in their entirety, including child labour.
Children are working in farms, tobacco, cotton in Gokwe and so forth. This bill must protect children.