It’s a crime to sleep with someone under 18 – Proposed new law

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that the government is working on introducing a new law which will make it illegal to sleep with people under the age of 18. The new law will effectively raises the age of consent to sex to 18 years of age. Currently, the age of consent stands at 16.

The VP revealed this in the senate after some senators questioned why the age of consent was not realigned with the new constitution which outlaws marriages of people under the age of 18.  Senator Anna Shiri  had said:

At the same time we have this Bill while we have part of the Act which says there is an age of consent to sex which is 16 years of age. 

As a result, there is some contradiction where early marriage is 18 years yet the consent to sexual activity is 16 years. We need to align these laws.

The Vice President, who is also the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary affairs said:

I may also say that the other two points you have raised relating to the issue of consent between juveniles or children, anybody who is below 18 is regarded as a child

Those issues we have debated and we believe that we should bring up also the age of consent to the age of 18. Of course, this is subject to debate when it comes to Parliament.

Mnangagwa who is also the Minister of Justice said that his ministry was working on realigning all the marriage laws into a comprehensive Marriages Bill.

More: New Zimbabwe

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