Increase budget support to VSU, Govt told
Published On November 29, 2021 » 1318 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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The Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development (ZNMNGD) has called on Government to increase budget support to the Victim Support Unit (VSU).
Speaking in a recent statement, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) further appealed to the Government to recognise Men’s Day and establish a sexual offenders’ prison as a means of fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV).
ZNMNGD National Coordinator Nelson Banda said as Zambia joined the rest of the world to commemorate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, his organization was calling on the Government to consider the establishment of a sexual offenders prison as a priority in the fight against GBV.
He said the national Budget allocation to the VSU, through the Ministry of Finance, should make more funds available to the unit in the Zambia Police Service.
“The statistics that are released on a quarterly basis by Zambia Police are evidence enough that there is need for the Government to allocate more resources to VSU and equip them with adequate transport to enable officers to investigate sexual crimes and prosecute sexual criminals,” Mr Banda said.
He said most of the Government departments were well resourced, with adequate transport, and yet the VSU, which investigated complex sexual offences, hadan acute transport shortage which limitedthe investigation and following up of perpetrators.  
Mr Banda said there was also need for the Government and other stakeholders to recognise International Men’s Day (IMD), which commemorated on November 19 every year.
The day was used to raise awareness about issues affecting men, such as factors that led to the men abusing women and girls’ rights.
He said commemorating IMDwas important to focus on the health and well-being of men, to promote and encourage positive male role models, celebrate the positive contributions of men towards family, communities, and promote gender equality by creating a better and safer place for everyone.
He said the commemoration of the IMD would also encourage men to teach boys about positive values, character and responsibilities of being a man; allow men to live lives of principles, character, values; and also to encourage men to start opening up to communicate about issues affecting them.
“ZNMNGD believes that addressing men, such as their poor health seeking behaviour, emotional and mental wellbeing will be a more sustainable way of preventing men’s abuse of women and girls’ rights,” he said.
Mr Banda said commemorating IMD should be an occasion to encourage men to promote gender equality, men’s involvement in family planning and child care activities as means of fighting GBV, which was currently lacking.
He said ZNMNGD believed that some of the strategies that had been employed in the past to punish sexual offenders had not yielded positive results as more women and girls had continued to be victimised.
“It is, therefore, high time that the country considers establishing the sexual offenders prison to quarantine sexual offenders and send a strong message to would be perpetrators that they risked being sent to a sexual offender prison should they be found guilty of violating the the integrity of women and girls,” he said.
Mr Banda said it was very disturbing to learn that over 12,000 girls were victimised in Eastern Province.
He said those who victimized that girls should have been in jail.

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