—-Former World Champion and Olympic Medallist, Samuel Matete, says the evils being perpetrated under Gender Based Violence (GBV) have forced him to come out of his retirement to help fight the scourge.
Matete, who is a retired male track and field athlete who competed mainly in 400 meter hurdles, told a gathering at Choma’s Civic Centre yesterday during the flagging off of the Freedom Ride against GBV, that he was greatly touched with the increasing prevalence of GBV.
He expressed fear that most victims of GBV were children who are the future of the country.
The 46-year-old retired athlete is among the cyclists drawn from five provinces and are expected to cover over 1, 000 kilo metres from Chililabombwe to Livingstone in a bid to help spread the message
Catherin Phiri had been the only female cyclist and two Solwezi-based cyclists under 16 years made the youngest among them.
And Southern Province Minister, Daniel Munkombwe, has observed that Gender Based Violence involving a child is the worst form of evil that man can ever commit.
Speaking in a speech read for him by the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Douglas Ngimbu, during the LEKA (STOP) Gender Based Violence Freedom Ride flag off event at Civic Centre yesterday, the minister wondered what beauty is there in a six-year-old child that prompts men to defile it.
Munkombwe said GBV violation can lead to death of victims and limits the potential of survivors to contribute to national development.
The minister observed that both men and women are violators of GBV and has since called for awareness creation.
He has appealed to all Zambians to consider condemning traditions that disempower victims of GBV.
Munkombwe said government is committed to ensuring the protection of men, women and children from GBV and has since appealed to the community to help police curb GBV by reporting all forms of GBV.
The minister observed that the trend of withdrawing GBV cases by victims’ families had the potential of fuelling the vice.
He commended the cyclists that have been cycling against GBV and all the sponsors of the event for their sacrifice and commitment to end GBV.