-The Zambia Police Service recorded 8,600 gender based violence cases countrywide between January and June, 2014.
ZANIS reports that Gender and Child Development Permanent Secretary Daisy N’gambi disclosed the statistics in Livingstone today describing the situation as saddening.
Ms. N’gambi said she was aware that there are a lot of GBV cases that are never reported and hoped that there was still room for changing the status quo and begin to see real transformation in the communities and the nation at large for a better Zambia.
She said Zambia needs healthy and productive citizens to make meaningful change in the socio-economic landscape adding that it all starts from preserving the lives of expectant mothers and their newly born babies so that they are alive and healthy.
Ms N’gambi said this in a speech read for her by Southern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Douglas Ngimbu at the conclusion of freedom ride against gender based violence in Livingstone.
Ms. N’gambi charged that if a woman and her family’s health are improved, Zambia would benefit from increased labor supply, productive capacity and economic well- being of communities and ultimately experience a positive impact on the economy.
She said her ministry was proud to have partnered with three Livingstone based companies namely Zambezi FM radio, Bushtracks Africa and Thorntree Safaris to raise awareness on gender based violence and maternal health care.
Ms. N’gambi applauded every freedom rider for completing the 1,000 kilometer journey from Chililabombwe to Livingstone in the scheduled 10 days and also appreciated their efforts, tenacity and the sacrifice to contribute positively to the development of the country.
She commended the Zambia Police and the Road Transport and Safety Agency for providing security for the riders on the road.
Earlier, Crime Prevention Foundation of Zambia (CPFZ) Patron Francis Musonda said CPFZ is among various other stakeholders who have partnered with the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to help eliminate gender based violence in the country.
Mr. Musonda said it was important for law abiding individuals, civil society and other stakeholders to join forces with government to find a lasting solution to the GBV scourge.
Speaking in a speech read for him by CPFZ National Chairman Jonathan Zulu, Mr. Musonda said government has acknowledged that in spite of comprehensive legal policies put in place to stop GBV, the cases have continued to rise.
Mr. Musonda charged that it was so disheartening to learn that law enforcers who are supposed to be in the forefront to stop GBV have become perpetrators of the vice giving an example of a recent reported case of GBV where a police officer in Pemba battered his wife who ended up being admitted in hospital over a minor domestic dispute.
He further stressed that to eliminate GBV from society requires total mind-set transformation by the majority of the population adding that CPFZ members have therefore committed themselves to act as ‘foot soldiers’ to conduct door to door anti-GBV road shows, drama activities to be performed in communities and schools.
Mr. Musonda urged every law abiding person to get involved and join the fight against GBV by establishing or joining an existing community crime prevention association in their neighborhood or community.