In a significant move to curb sexual abuse in society, President Hussein Mwinyi has inaugurated a robust 23-member committee dedicated to this cause. The purpose of the committee is to create preventive measures that will ultimately reduce the prevalence of sexual offenses within the community. This initiative is reflective of the current administration’s commitment to addressing pressing societal issues and maintaining the moral fabric of the nation.
The committee boasts a diverse representation from a multitude of sectors including government bodies, private institutions, human rights activists, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) office, the Mufti office, the Ministry of Educational and Vocational Training, and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Elders, Children, and Gender. This wide-ranging membership is expected to bring varied perspectives and expertise, fostering a comprehensive approach toward mitigating the menace of sexual abuse.
During the launch ceremony which took place on Thursday, President Mwinyi issued directives to all institutions that have representatives in the committee. He emphasized the need for unfettered cooperation to ensure the success of this initiative. Further, he urged these institutions to liaise closely with the DPP’s office in order to meet the set objectives. The committee will be led by the Deputy DPP, Ms. Mwanamkaa Abdulrahman Mohammed.
Reflecting on the alarming statistics presented by the DPP on sexual abuse, President Mwinyi expressed concern over the escalating moral decay and the persistent trend of abuse. He underscored the collective responsibility of all members of society to counter this menace, reminding that all religions unequivocally condemn such acts. He also mentioned the crucial role religious leaders can play in disseminating education to communities on how to prevent and tackle sexual abuse.
He further called upon parents to ensure proper parenting and shared responsibility in child-rearing, with an aim to nurture well-rounded and morally upright youth. President Mwinyi appreciated the committee’s proactive stance of prevention over reaction, which deviates from the usual practice of addressing such issues post-occurrence. He, however, advised the committee to explore and identify any shortcomings in existing policies, regulations, and laws that may hinder efficiency in combating sexual abuse.
Expressing gratitude for the formation of the committee, the Minister of State in the President’s Office – Constitution, Legal Affairs, Public Service, and Good Governance, Mr. Haroun Ali Suleiman, acknowledged the DPP’s innovative initiative. He underscored the importance of such a committee in intensifying the campaign against sexual abuse.
On his part, the DPP, Mr. Mgeni Jailani Jecha, revealed concerning statistics indicating an upsurge in sexual abuse incidents. According to his office, there was a rise from 1222 reported cases in 2021 to 1360 in the following year. The number of affected children also saw an increase from 1068 in 2021 to 1173 in 2022. He further noted the existence of 784 sexual abuse suspects in remand and expressed an ambitious target of achieving a conviction rate of at least 65 percent. This conviction rate is expected to act as a strong deterrent and signal the administration’s stern stance on such crimes.
In conclusion, Mr. Jecha asserted that the formation of this committee is a tangible step towards realizing the instructions President Mwinyi issued during the Conference on Sexual Violence in July 2021. During this conference, he called upon all institutions to develop strategies or programs aimed at eradicating sexual abuse. This committee, therefore, is not just an innovative approach but also a testament to the government’s determination to create a safe and secure environment for all its citizens.