GWERU- High Court Judge, Justice Evangelista Kabasa has bemoaned the prevalence of murder cases emanating from gender based violence in the Midlands Province.
Officially opening the 2024 legal year for the Gweru High Court circuit on Monday, Justice Kabasa said last year the circuit dealt with 14 cases of gender based violence, while this first quarter sitting has 4 murder cases.
“Out of the 55 cases dealt with in 2023, 14 deaths were a result of gender based violence. The current circuit court has a total of 18 cases and 4 of these are a result of gender based violence.
“The statistics for 2023 and this quarter reflect the ugly scourge of gender based violence. Women have been killed by those who vowed to love and cherish them.
“This is a worrying trend as it shows a 25% and 22% occurrence rate.
“This is not meant to suggest that men are not victims of gender based violence. My focus was deliberately on the weaker sex, the women folk,” said Justice Kabasa.
She added that gender based violence remains one of the most prevalent forms of human rights violations globally.
She said the country should take stock, reflect and devise strategies to curb gender based violence, “with the hope to end it in all its forms”.
“Whilst the courts do their part in presiding over the murder cases and expediting the conclusion of the trials, the real solution lies in us working towards a culture where we respect each other’s bodily integrity and shun violence,” she added.
Justice Kabasa added that society should compliment government efforts to end the violence scourge.
“Government’s commitment to eradicate gender based violence has to be complemented by society appreciating that violence does not solve anything. It only exacerbates the problem,” she said.
According to the Judiciary Service Commission, Midlands province has been grappling with the upsurge in murder cases emanating from violent clashes between artisanal miners.
With the province recording 379 murders in 2023, the highest as compared to other provinces.
The Gweru High Court circuit will run for two weeks from Monday.