By KAIKO NAMUSA –
THE Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has welcomed the imprisonment of a 49-year-old executive of Lusaka who has been imprisoned for 18 months by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for assaulting his wife.
NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said the women’s movement was concerned with the increased cases of wife battery and assault in the country.
Ms Mwale said over the years, there had been an increase in the number of reported cases of wife battery, with some even resulting in deaths.
She said in 2013, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) recorded 692 cases of wife battery and this development was unacceptable in a Christian nation.
“Therefore, the imprisonment of Gilbert Chileshe for assaulting, his wife Ms Thokozile Sikalonga would not have come at any better time than now when the country is struggling to curb the high incidences of Gender Based Violence,” she said.
She said this in a statement issued by NGOCC advocacy officer, Whitney Mulobela in Lusaka yesterday.
She expressed hope that the imprisonment of Chileshe would serve as a lesson to husbands who were in the habit of assaulting and battering their wives.
She called for stiffer penalties on husbands that assault their wives.
“NGOCC would like to take the opportunity to appeal to the courts of law to reconsider the punishment meted out to people who batter their wives.
“There is need for stiffer punishment against men who batter and abuse their wives. NGOCC also wishes to implore the state to expedite the process of operationalising the Fast Track Court System for cases of Gender Based Violence,” she added.
She urged families to seek dialogue as a means of resolving problems and desist from physical violence especially against wives.