Pubdate: Sun, 09 Sep 2012
Source: Standard, The (Zimbabwe)
Copyright: 2012 The Standard
Author: Grace Mutandwa


A young man sells marijuana to raise school fees and he gets 
arrested, tried before the courts and is sentenced to two months in prison.

That he did something wrong is not in dispute but the fact that he 
had to resort to an illegal way of raising money to educate himself 
should be something that should worry all of us, more so, our 
political leaders. There are many more young men who are surviving 
through similar entrepreneurial skills.

If people are determined to grow and sell marijuana because there is 
a ready market, maybe we should be thinking beyond the feel good 
mood-enhancing capacity of the herb and, in the spirit of 
empowerment, set up pharmaceutical companies.

Marijuana has well-documented medicinal properties. It can help 
alleviate the ravages of glaucoma, asthma and a whole host of other 
ailments. The ever-growing hair industry would greatly benefit. Ask 
some women in Egypt who create their own hair cremes with the main 
ingredient being marijuana.

I am not advocating for this because I like smoking it - I don't, 
have never tried it and have never had the temptation to try it. I 
possess a natural happy gene, which would probably explode if I 
partook of an artificial excitement and mood-enhancing herb.

My main worry is that our courts see it fit to deprive this young man 
of two months of education. When he gets released he is most likely 
to drop out of school completely.

This is not helpful. A young man at the end of his tether decides to 
dig himself out of poverty through the only way he knows how but 
finds he has dug an even deeper hole for himself. Our laws seem to be 
made by people who inhabit another planet. A cattle rustler will get 
more years in prison than a depraved man who rapes a woman or a child!

In the same week that I was reading about the young marijuana 
peddler, I also read about a 48-year-old man who abused his wife and 
two daughters. He urinated on his wife in front of his two daughters 
aged 10 and 15. He forced the wife to mop up the urine and at one 
point forced her into a bathtub while fully clothed to soak herself.

He then ordered her to stand throughout the night so she could get 
dry. He indecently exposed himself to his two daughters and also 
forced his wife and children to spend the night outside. This man 
pleads guilty to domestic violence and public indecency and for being 
such a "good example" for other men, he gets a 10-month jail term.

But, he is spared jail time - four months are suspended on condition 
of good behaviour and for the remaining six months he is ordered to 
do community service! For prancing around in the nude showing off his 
miserable manhood to his daughters, he is fined a measly US$50!

'Women's lives worthless in Zim?'

Now if there was need for a custodial sentence, here was a very good 
excuse for one and a long one too. They say the law is an ass and 
surely it is much more than an ass. Women's lives are worthless in 
Zimbabwe. Cattle are valued more than the welfare of women. Men can 
get away with bashing women and urinating on them.

More needs to be done to protect women's rights

The case of the urinating man made my blood boil and for the first 
time, I started seriously considering voting for that half-baked 
draft constitution, not because it is proposing having more women in 
parliament - no!

We have women in parliament right now but very few of them even care 
what happens to fellow women. There are reasons why I am against the 
controversial draft constitution but I will not discuss them now. 
There is only one reason I might vote for it and that is because 
women would be spared hanging.

If it became the new supreme law of the land, women who commit murder 
will not be hanged. Women would be able to cleanse our land of 
depraved men. What we need would be to expand on this proposal to 
ensure that women would be spared jail terms unless they murder fellow women.

There are more women than men anyway so if a few thousands take it 
upon themselves to abuse us, we should be able to hack them to death 
and if we get arrested we should be ordered to do community service 
of not more than 60 hours. Let us see how men would like to sit on 
that side of the fence and get a taste of their own medicine.

Maybe if roles were reversed and we suddenly had the law on our side, 
men would behave better. Men must realise that without the fear of 
being hanged - I much prefer to die in my sleep after a nice warm 
bath and a long cold alcoholic drink - women will devise ways of 
murdering men. After years of being subjected to terror in her own 
home, any woman is bound to snap one day and do something drastic. 
For women who suddenly find themselves knee-deep in their husband's 
blood, just pleading temporary insanity should be enough for them to 
be set free.

I suggest that women start keeping detailed diaries of what their men 
get up to. You might need to defend your actions in court. but more 
importantly, a long list of the man's transgressions will be 
something to offer in mitigation.

I think we all need to work towards a better society and must stand 
up against people who debase others and people who abuse children in 
any manner. The law must be there to protect the weak, not subject 
them to further humiliation.

A man who urinates on his wife does not deserve to mingle with 
civilised society; he needs to be potty trained and also requires 
psychiatric help. He should be told that women are not toilets and 
must be rehabilitated so that he learns to respect women.

And, our young people should never have to sell drugs or commit 
crimes just to survive. We should be ashamed of ourselves for failing 
our children and women.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom