Depraved and corrupt elements like Johannes Tomana support child sex says Jonathan Moyo.

Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo says only “depraved and corrupt elements” think children under the age of 16 can consent to sexual intercourse.

This follows remarks by Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana on the age of consent in which he said children below 16 could legally consent to sex and marriage.

Jonathan Moyo.
Mr Tomana has drawn widespread condemnation for his statements, which he subsequently appeared to backtrack on, saying they were merely an interpretation of the law as it currently is rather than them being his own personal sentiments.

At the the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo awards ceremony in Harare last night, guest of honour Prof Moyo said promoting and/or condoning child sex allowed paedophiles to perpetrate abuses.

“Of particular concern are widespread reports that even children as young as 12 years or even as nine can be in economic or cultural, or whatever, circumstances where they can consent to sex.

“These development must ring alarm bells in the tourism sector. There’s a clear and present danger that some depraved and corrupt elements in our midst can exploit the situation to create or promote a child sex industry in the country under the cover of tourism,” he said.

Prof Moyo said it was “outrageous” to even suggest there could be an excuse to allow young children to consent to sex, adding that laws should be amended to outlaw paedophilia if they were not presently sufficient to combat the scourge.

“The view that a child under the age of 16 can consent to any sexual act under any circumstances is totally unacceptable as it is offensive to our moral sensibilities. It is also outrageous for anyone to suggest that there can be extenuating or mitigating circumstances that provide for an excuse for child sex.

“If the law is not clear on child sex, then there’s an urgent need for it to be clarified and amended where necessary to provide that a child under the age of 16 years cannot consent to any sexual act whatsoever. Meanwhile, the tourism sector will do itself and the nation a lot of good if it added its voice against child sex. The sector needs to attract tourists, not paedophiles.

“This is because our country is truly a paradise with four truths that make Zimbabwe an amazing tourist magnet in ways that are paradigmatic.

“Firstly, we have the best sunshine in the world which is best experienced here and nowhere else in the world. Secondly, we have unmatched natural resources like the Victoria Falls whose best view is here in Zimbabwe and nowhere elsewhere, and I mean nowhere else. The claim by the likes of South African Airways that you can fly to South Africa and see the Victoria Falls proves my point.

“Thirdly, we have spellbinding wonders or historic human creations such as the Great Zimbabwe Monuments whose existence is testimony to our early participation and contribution to human civilisation.

“Fourthly, and thanks to the principles and iconic leadership of our President, Cde Robert Mugabe, we are the only country in the world with an ideology that is now a tourist attraction.”

Prof Moyo presented awards to exhibitors with the best stands at the three-day tourism expo, which attracted 110 international buyers and 40 media establishments from 18 countries.

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