Who will protect our children?

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THERE is a place in Harare where vice flourishes — prostitutes, thieves, drug peddlers, pimps — a place The Sunday Mail of August 26 calls ‘Sin City’.
They do their dirty business under cover of night, seemingly undisturbed and undetected by law enforcement.
The Sunday Mail describes it as ‘an open sewer of vice and crime.’
They call it the place where Sodom and Gomorrah relocated to 5 000 years later.
Apparently what God destroyed years ago has found a ‘home’ in Zimbabwe.
Such has found a ‘home’ in the land of Musikavanhu, in the land of Mwari?
This is worrisome.
When such vices flourish under our very noses, it says something about our society.
This is a cancer that has developed in the body that is our society.
The body has developed free radicals, cancerous cells and in this ‘Sin City’ these free radicals are concentrated.
They are clearly visible, but it is not only here they exist. They congregate here because our society permits it, hence it is our society that has a problem.
Soon, the cancer will spread and change the nature of society. The illness that is manifest here will soon devour the rest of the body.
The body will become sick and, in the end, incompetent to sustain certain levels of normalcy.
The fact that such sepsis exists in ‘Sin City’ means it is not too far from all of us, from our children whom we might imagine safe from this; from our own youths whom we imagine safe from all this.
The fundamental question is: Why are we allowing this to thrive and flourish among us?
Clearly the vices uncovered by The Sunday Mail are against the laws of the land, yet it seems this city of sin answers to its own laws.
It is heartbreaking when your society disintegrates before your own eyes.
Such is not the destiny of Zimbabwe.
We owe Zimbabweans — young and unborn — a future that is totally divorced from such evils.
Are we incapable of securing a good future for our children? Can we, under these circumstances?
Last Saturday (August 25) I was taking a stroll at Sam Ley Village early in the evening.
It was around 5pm.
I was just noting the heightened levels of nudity among our young.
I wondered where it will all end.
It seems each time there is less clothing on them, but then I saw something that shocked me out of my wits; something far worse than the nudity I was worried about.
There, outside one shop on a bench, a male African teenager sat with a girl, also an African in her early teens, on his lap.
They were ‘making out’, no-holds-barred, as if they were in their bedroom far away from prying eyes. The only redemption is, they were clothed.
I could not believe my eyes.
Adults, African adults strolled by as if it was the most normal thing before their eyes.
Two African males in their late 50s or early 60s passed by and actually took a seat at the next bench.
They did not say or do anything about this situation.
I stood in front of the teenagers hoping they would realise they were out of line.
I was just two feet from them but they carried on, oblivious to my presence.
After about two minutes, I told them to stop it because what they were doing was indecent.
They immediately separated and I left.
About two metres from the teenagers, were two security guards, talking to each other, conveniently with their backs to this scene.
They clearly knew what was going on but had decided to turn a blind eye.
I confronted them about allowing such nonsense in a public place.
One of them answered that they had no powers to stop such.
I asked what powers did they have if they could let such go on? What kind of parents were they?
One security guard walked away, while the other answered that he was a parent and had children older than they.
I walked away in disgust.
This is what happens when we let evil fester among us.
It seems so far away but it is right on our own doorsteps.
It festers on our TV screens and children ingest it.
They ingest it in the movies they watch, in the books they read, in the magazines and it is festering in ‘Sin City’.
No one is safe until we uproot evil wherever it lurks.
When children ingest it from so many quarters, after some time they feel comfortable with it.
After sometime, it seems normal and they may start practicing it even in broad daylight as what happened at Sam Levy Village.
It is not inborn in children to be promiscuous and shameless. They learn it from a society that is corrupt.
If something has to end, society has to reject it with all its might. We must mobilise all instruments to fight and destroy the scourge.
Without that, the cancer will spread and, as it happens, it is an extremely virulent cancer.
We have said many times in this paper, it is hypocritical to lament child sexual abuse and rape if we do not correct the environment which festers these vices.
Without castigating each evil which breeds these, we are not serious.
We can shout from the rooftops with NGOs at the head of the pack, but if society condones this, nothing will change.
It will be as hypocritical as the NGOs who support prostitution and yet shed crocodile tears about child sexual abuse, child rape; that which feeds these vices must be stopped, destroyed. Nothing less will change the situation.
Still in The Sunday Mail, a student at Rhodes University mourns the death of a friend who committed suicide after being raped by her boyfriend.
“It is disgusting how the societies we live in have turned into spaces where atrocious deeds such as rape become one of those things,” he laments.
The adults who passed by those two teenagers at Sam Levy Village without correcting them took it as ‘one of those things’, nothing to worry about.
This is how society rots.
Who will protect our children?

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