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Our culture protected the weak

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THE strange phenomenon of rape, physical and emotional abuse of our women, girl-childas well as the boy-child is cause for serious concern.

While it is commendable that stiffer penalties are being imposed on those abusing our women and the girl/boy-child, that is not sufficient.

We cannot be a people depending on the courts to protect our women, little girls and boys.

And what protection will it be when violation and psychological damage has already been done?

The violation of any person in our society is sacrilege.

The violence against those needing our care and protection must come to an end.

It should not be left to law enforcement agencies and the courts to end violation of the vulnerable in our midst.

It is our duty as a people, as a society, to protect those who look up to us.

Our women have been the pillar of our society since time immemorial.

We cannot remain quiet as our women are being raped by the so-called men-of-cloth, by men who swore to cherish and love them, in good and bad times.

Chivanhu chedu/isintu sethu has always respected women and valued our children.

Abusing them has never been part of who we are.

Let us revert to our old ways to break the cycle of abuse that has become rampant.

In our taboos and folklore are basic rules of human conduct which surpass any legal statutes enshrined in the so-called Roman-Dutch Law and other laws.

The moral degeneration being spearheaded by men-of-the-cloth, by teachers and depraved guardians is a symptom of the wider moral decay and cultural disintegration.

In embracing ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights-to-be’ from the West, have we not exposed ourselves to dangers — with our women the hardest hit.

When so-called ‘spiritual-fathers’ reign supreme and become the ‘only’ father who is above one’s biological father and it appears also more influential than Musikavanhu/Umdali, then we have a serious problem.

Some of us have a problem with religious movements that are quick to condemn our traditions and values, replacing them with nothing but empty spiritual promises.

The tragedy is that these promises and new values alienate us from our past and our heritage.

They remove and make us abandon values handed down to us by madzitateguru edu/ okhokho bethu.

We abandon values that made us a people, values that created safety nets and fences to protect us from harm.

Our traditions were never crafted to take advantage of the weaker in society, but to protect them.

We never heard of a mhondoro or gombwe/idlozi or any spiritual leaders who raped women in their communities, if anyone has historical evidence of this heinous crime please bring it forward.

Our spiritual leaders led chaste lives — Musikavanhu/ UMdali to them is an entity not to be trifled with and many of them led the life of celibacy.

What we see today is heart-rending, when those who are supposed to be custodians of good morals go about raping and impregnating our women we cannot help but question these new values.

Are we not better-off with our own values?

It is time for some serious introspection.

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