Mat South MP decries rape in Hospitals

A LEGISLATOR has bemoaned with concern the increasing rape in Hospitals particularly in Matebeleland South where there were reports of expecting women raped.

Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday,MDC-T Matebeleland South MP Ms Sipho Mokone said it was distressing to learn of the two pregnant women who were raped at Maphisa Hospital in Matobo District last week. Her remarks come at a time the nation is commemorating 16 days against gender-based violence.

“Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon to you madam. I rise on an issue of national importance. It is quite sad that while we are commemorating the 16 Days of Gender Based Violence, two pregnant women had been raped in Maphisa Hospital. This has happened twice in the same hospital,” she said.

She noted that minors might be at risk of being kidnapped as well lobbying for the Home Affairs Ministry, which is the parent ministry for the Zimbabwe Republic Police to take swift action on perpetrators.

“It is not only at Maphisa Hospital that his has happened. Sometime in July, a similar unfortunate incident happened in Manama Hospital in the same province. As Matabeleland South legislator, I am concerned about the safety of the patients in this hospital. This means that even minors can now be kidnapped in these hospitals.

“I therefore/ /plead with the Minister of Health to issue a statement ensuring the public that their lives are safe and are not in danger when they are in hospitals. The Minister of Home Affairs should consider security issues in the hospitals. It has happened in Matabeleland, who knows – maybe it might happen in Harare or Matabeleland North next time. So the Home Affairs Ministry must make sure that perpetrators of this kind are brought to book. I thank you,” Hon Mokone said.

It is alleged that in the latest incident, three machete-wielding men were spotted entering the maternity ward where they threatened and raped the victims.

Matabeleland South provincial medical director Ruth Chikodzore told Southern Eye that security at the hospital would be tightened.

“We had a meeting as the ministry, hospital officials and community members, and we came up with several measures that will ensure the safety of patients. We decided to increase the number of security personnel at the hospital,” Chikodzore said.

“There will be police officers patrolling the hospital during the night.  Each ward will now have a guard to protect patients. The windows will also be secured as well as the doors,” she said.

Chikodzore said the community had also formed a neighbourhood watch committee to guard the institution.

“Some community members have volunteered to beef up security at the hospital.  We have a group of villagers who will be working with the police during the night to make sure that a similar incident does not happen again.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said they were investigating the matter.

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