PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has condemned the heinous and evil actions which lead to the death of young children for rituals and witchcraft purposes.

The call by the President comes a few days after the death of a seven-year-old Murehwa boy, whose mutilated body was found being eaten by dogs after he was kidnapped and murdered last week for ritual purposes, allegedly by a herder and two others who sold the body parts for US$1 500.

Police yesterday arrested, Tafadzwa Shamba, on kidnap and murder charges and are now hunting down the two suspected accomplices.

Addressing junior cabinet in a virtual meeting in Harare, President Mnangagwa said cold-hearted acts have no place in Zimbabwe calling upon the criminal justice system to deal with perpetrators to expunge the evil trend from the society.

“My government is gravely concerned with the threats to the well-being of children and youths emanating from various forms of abuse. We continue to take several measures to give effect to commitments to end violence against children.

“I am disturbed by the loss of life by young children as a result of heinous and evil actions for rituals and witchcraft purposes. These cold-hearted acts of murderers have no place in our country. The stakeholders in our criminal justice system must speedily and strongly deal with perpetrators so that this evil trend is expunged from our society,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said measures have been put in place to ensure learners return to safe schools ahead of the reopening after easing of COVID-19 regulations.

“Government has put in place concrete interventions through the ministries of primary and secondary education and also, higher and tertiary education innovation science and technology development to ensure that learners return to safe and hygienic schools or college environments.

“I call upon all learners and teachers who are back at school tertiary of university to be careful and abide by the stipulated requirements which help prevent COVID-19. The new normal requires us to correctly wear masks, practice social distancing and constantly sanitise or wash our hands. Protect yourselves, your friends and families,” he said.

“It is pleasing that to date, our country has witnessed unprecedented innovation from young people, throughout the country who have joined the fight against cobid129 by producing various PPES, well done to our young people.

“Going forward, this creativity and determination to answer the problems that affect our communities and the nation through, science, innovation, and technology must keep on being inculcated and nurtured,” he said.

Government is implementing a cocktail of measures to stimulate economic activity as a way of creating employment opportunities.

“Government is implementing economic reforms so that our country realise growth and prosperity which will, in turn, widen career options for our young people as well as improve their quality of life.

“The present investments and programmes in agriculture, mining and visible construction of dams, roads, power and ICTs infrastructure will also guarantee that our children grow up in a Zimbabwe which is food self-sufficient, modern industrialised and accessible. A Zimbabwe which leaves no one behind.

“My government’s focus on developing social services such as education and health facilities will see the young people of our country having access to schools and clinics as close to where they live as possible.

“It is pleasing that through the devolution policy, some local authorities have begun to finance projects which will see children having equal opportunities as well as quality and affordable education undertaken in modern school buildings. This situation where children walk over five kilometres to school is not desirable.

“As more ZUPCO buses are availed, the transport plight of learners in urban areas who commute to school is also expected to improve,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the goal to modernize and industrialize the country has seen a deliberate construction of science laboratories to facilitate the learning of science subjects in schools throughout the country. -ZBC