Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo pressure Tomana over marriage to 12 year olds utterances

President Robert Mugabe has piled pressure on under fire Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana who suggested that  girls as young as nine could consent to sex and married at 12.

Mugabe said child marriages cause irreparable damage to the growth of young people.

Last week, Tomana sparked outrage when he said girls as young as nine could consent to sex and married at 12.

On Saturday, Mugabe said government could soon outlaw any marriage with a person below the age of 18.

“Government is considering aligning our laws relating to marriages to forbid the marriage of young people below the age of 18. I don’t know whether we can succeed (but) I think the family, the parents will succeed much more than the Government by teaching usefulness of education to their children; that after Form Four, do some course. It’s not just going to university which is the possible route to higher development.

The Marriage Act (Chapter 5:07) provides that a girl between the age of 16 and 18 may, with the joint consent of her mother and father, enter a civil marriage. The Act prohibits marriage of girls below the age of 16.

However, court rulings have allowed girls as young as 12 to get married, a situation that has triggered widespread opposition and calls for realignment of all necessary legislation to ensure child marriages are stopped.

However, Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo was not diplomatic in his criticism on Saturday evening  when  said only “depraved and corrupt elements” think children under the age of 16 can consent to sex.

“Of particular concern are widespread reports that even children as young as 12 years or even as nine can be in economic or cultural, or whatever, circumstances where they can consent to sex.

“These development must ring alarm bells in the tourism sector. There’s a clear and present danger that some depraved and corrupt elements in our midst can exploit the situation to create or promote a child sex industry in the country under the cover of tourism,” he said.

Moyo said it was “outrageous” to even suggest there could be an excuse to allow young children to consent to sex, adding that laws should be amended to outlaw paedophilia if they were not presently sufficient to combat the scourge. Source: Byo24News

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