Two pregnant women were recently raped at Maphisa Hospital and a similar distressing incident happened inside Manama Hospital in Matabeleland South, raising fears that “even minors can now be kidnapped in these hospitals”, Parliament was told.
This was revealed in the National Assembly last week by Matabeleland South Member of Parliament Sipho Mokone.
The chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services urged Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe to provide maximum security to hospitals to make sure no incidents of kidnapping or rape affect patients.
Mokone said this during Parliament’s commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
“Thank you Madam Speaker. I stand on an issue of national importance. It is quite sad that while we are commemorating the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, two pregnant women had been raped in Maphisa Hospital.
“This has happened twice in the same hospital. It is not only in Maphisa Hospital that this has happened. Sometime in July, a similar unfortunate incident happened in Manama Hospital in the same province.
“As a Matabeleland South legislator, I am concerned about the safety of anyone in this hospital. This means that even minors can now be kidnapped in these hospitals,” Mokone said.
“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 Minister must make sure that perpetrators of this kind are brought to book.”
Tatenda Mavetera, who was acting Speaker of Parliament, urged Kazembe to come up with a ministerial statement to address the issue.
“Thank you Hon. Mokone for such an important point of national interest. I am sure the Hon. Minister, if he is going to come through and be able to furnish us with that Ministerial Statement to that effect and also the Minister of Home Affairs, they will be informed of your request so that at least they can take action on this,” she said. Nehanda Radio