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Zambian women want defilers caged for life
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2012-01-18 10:46

The women movement in Zambia is calling for stiffer punishment to be meted on men defiling young girls as the southern African nation continues recording high incidences of girls being defiled, the Times of Zambia reported on Tuesday.

Last week, the country's Chief Judge Enerst Sakala said sexual offenses such as defilement topped the list of convicted persons in Zambian prisons and called for the stiffening of the punishment to deter would-be offenders.

Currently, the maximum sentence for defilement is 25 years.

But the Non-Governmental Coordinating Council (NGOCC), an umbrella body of women organizations, is proposing that defilers should be slapped with life imprisonment.

The organization's chairperson Beatrice Grillo said perpetrators, especially those who defile or rape babies, should immediately be locked up for life with hard labor.

"As NGOCC, we re concerned about these defilement and rape cases which are on the rise. While we realize that increasing the number of years for perpetrators is a good move, we have been proposing that such offenders especially those who defile or rape babies should be locked up directly for life imprisonment," she was quoted as saying by the paper.

While acknowledging that increasing the number of years could serve as hard punishment, the official said life imprisonment could stand better particularly on defilers of children.

"This would also serve as warning to would-be offenders because they would know that they won't be released from prison because it's life imprisonment," she added.

According to official statistics from the Zambia Police, Lusaka, the Zambian capital, recorded 1, 089 defilement cases and 75 rape cases last year.

The myths from traditional healers that having sex with a minor could bring one riches and cure from HIV/AIDS seems to have perpetrated defilement of young girls.

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