Corpun file 26360 at www.corpun.com
voazimbabwe.com (Voice of America in Zimbabwe), 26 March 2016
Botswana Public Floggings Scaring Zimbabweans
By Martin Ngwena
Click to enlarge
GABORONE, BOTSWANA -- Zimbabweans living in Botswana say they
support their government's effort to engage its neighbor on
corporal punishment. Botswana regularly flogs transgressing
Zimbabweans, particularly for border jumping and petty crime.
Zimbabwe recently engaged their Botswana counterparts with a view
to stop the flogging of its citizens in the neighboring nation.
However, the Zimbabwe delegation, during a recent bilateral
security meeting, failed to convince Gaborone authorities to stop
Zimbabweans, who commit petty crime in Botswana, are usually
flogged and not given custodial sentence.
Some Zimbabweans feel the practice is outdated and should be
replaced with alternative punishment. Japhta Ndlovu says with
some people suffering from various ailments, punishment through
flogging might even cause health complications.
"We don't support the system of canning [sic]. I think they should
come up with another alternative. We have people with different
ailments and it might be a problem after they are flogged."
But another Zimbabwean, Farai Dzirutwe, is of the view that
although some are not comfortable with the practice, Zimbabweans
must try and stay on the right side of the law to avoid falling
victim to corporate [sic] punishment.
"I would like to encourage Zimbabweans to ensure their
papers are in order. Even if we say it's inhumane or backward,
its within Botswana laws."
Botswana nationals believe it is only appropriate to mete out
the punishment to deter petty criminals, particularly with
Zimbabwean illegal immigrants accused of contributing to soaring
crime in the country.
Mompati Kenosi says Botswana "laws are laws" and they
need to be respected irrespective of nationality. "Flogging
has its advantages. It doesn't matter whether they are
Zimbabweans or not. We need to flog people for minor crimes
instead of putting them in jail."
Zimbabwe Republic Police head of the Minerals and Border Control
Unit, Earnest Muchekwa, recently told the media that they held
several meetings with their Botswana counter-parts over the
matter but the practice had not stopped.
Muchekwa says they have repeatedly impressed the need to observe
human rights but have been told that Batswana chiefs have a legal
right to flog offenders.
Offenders are often sentenced to anything between six and 12
cuts on the bare back [sic] but children, women and men over 40 years
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