Musengezi Communal Land is an old resettlement area where people were haphazardly relocated. Cultural beliefs and practices are causing some men to perpetuate Gender-based violence (GBV) to their wives and children on a day to day basis. Most men were ignorant on issues of domestic violence and child marriages and their consequences.
“When l heard about SAfAIDS Men as Protectors/Women as Protectors programme from Chegutu Rural District Council, I viewed it as a good opportunity for my community to learn about leading healthy lives.
As a councillor, I am a politician in some way but l managed to separate my political affairs from my home affairs because of the SAfAIDS programme. Disputes will never build anything but people need to talk openly to reach a consensus. In the past, I used to exercise my authoritative power at home and this created more disputes. To me, a wife was supposed to be scared of the husband, but in reality that is not how respect is earned. The SAfAIDS programme became an eye-opener and I wanted my community especially men to benefit as well.
Most GBV cases were being solved at traditional courts by village heads while others were left unsolved. ‘’Chakafukidza dzimba matenga,’’ a peaceful exterior may hide troubles inside, one cannot tell violence unless someone discloses or sees it happening.
Through the Men as Protectors/Women as Protectors club sessions, the prevalence of domestic violence in homes is being reduced. I am glad that some village heads are also part of the programme and are able to act as champions to influence their communities to change.
I wish this programme could spread to other parts of Musengezi communal areas because they all need to be reached out to.