It is tragic that out of 1,400 cases of defilement which were reported to University Teaching Hospital (UTH) only about 70 were prosecuted and convictions secured, Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) president Aaron Mujajati has said
He said Zambia as a society ought to shoulder responsibility for what “obviously was a serious breakdown in societal norms and morals against the health and lives of children.”
“While as doctors we see so many of these cases, we are not by any means innoculated against the pain that any human being would feel at the sight of a child in extreme pain who sometimes succumbs to death as a consequence.
“How does one explain the fact that more than 1,450 cases of defilement were attended to at UTH in 2015. Out of all these cases, as we are informed, only 10% were prosecuted and only five percent were successful convictions?” Dr Mujajati said.
He said doctors came into the picture after damage had already been done, and that even the criminal justice system could not be relied upon as such intervention came after the act. Dr Mujajati said the secrecy in issues of defilement had contributed to the problem of defilement as most culprits remain unknown as was most of the vice that was never reported.
He said the situation made the environment unsafe for children and conducive for “these despicable acts to continue, making everybody as guilty as of the crime as the perpetrators.”
“This begs the question: where are the gatekeepers? Where are the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters that served as bulwarks against marauding human beasts looking for an easy prey to pounce on?” Dr Mujajati asked.
He suggested a national indaba of stakeholders including the church and traditional leaders to discuss the subject to look for the way forward
Dr Mujajati said there was need for drastic, revolutionary and earthshaking response to the evil obsession of defilement.
He said Zambians should not allow defilement of children to infiltrate its culture and heritage.