Zambia, Scottish police partner to tackle GBV
Published On March 3, 2023 » 793 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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•All victims should be supported appropriately at the Police front desk.

By PASSY HAACHIZO –
THE Zambia Police continues to remain a very important entity of the Government as it provides vigilance and maintains law and order to ensure the safety of the public and property.
However, it is important that the police are adequately engaged in mental training to be able to handle stressful moments and respond to call of duty amicably.
Among the top notch issues that the police are expected to be knowledgeable about are those connected to child protection and gender based violence (GBV) which is mostly prevalent in the community.
However, through the partnership between the Police Scotland and Zambia Police Service which may have a long friendship is yielding fruits where the Zambia Police are being equipped with skills on how to respond to issues of GBV and its sister, child protection.
In 2017, the Scottish government’s New International Development Strategy was presented in the Scottish Parliament where intentions to fund four countries, including Zambia in the areas of GBV and child protection were made public.
This was a baby of a high level engagement that took place between the Zambian and the Scottish governments to establish strategic relationships which resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries.
The move made the Scottish government request Police Scotland to outline how the organisation could support work in relation to gender based violence (GBV) and child protection in Zambia.
Superintendent Shuan Mckillop and Inspector Iain Ward of Police Scotland International Development and Innovation Unit visited Zambia to carry out early scoping work and presented their findings back to their government.
After securing funding in the financial year 2017/18 a series of trainings were developed and delivered by officers from Scotland.
Victim Unit National Coordinator Gloria Mubita said the funding was intended to continue seeing Police Scotland-Zambia Police Service partnership work to promote United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in two work streams by building strong institutions and protecting vulnerable groups such as women and children.
Ms Mubita, who is also Police Scotland-Zambia Police Service Liaison officer, said this involved the development of youth innovation supporting goals.
This was done by taking a more innovative approach to embed officers from Scotland in the victim Support Unit (VSU), the equivalent of a public protection unit in Scotland to support vulnerable groups.
She said the Scottish officers in Kabwe focused on first responders’ inquiry desk, initial investigations in VSU and child protection while fixing eyes to a tailored training.
Ms Mubita said the training was the first step in the structured mentored programme while plans to create a working group at the One-Stop Centre to improve service delivery and communication, interaction with the Judiciary and National Prosecutions Authority to review and agree on evidence admissibility had been part of the consideration.
She said this was the first time that two national police services had to come together in a true collaborative partnership focused on improving victim support, quality of initial inquiries and investigations.
However, COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the programme but by then the Scotland Police had already donated some laptops and a projector to police stations in Kabwe.
Ms Mubita said in January 2020 two officers from Central Division headquarters in Kabwe travelled to Scotland on a recommendation of their Scottish counterpart Inspector Andrew Neil Hill had by then accustomed to the Kabwe geography.
She said the two officers learnt how the Scottish police kept their residents safe but the programme was disrupted by COVID-19 in March 2020 which forced the Scottish Police embedded in Kabwe to fly back to Scotland.
“In pursuit of their goals to support vulnerable groups in accordance with United Nations SDGs, today Police Scotland is back to continue from where they ended,” Ms Mubita said.
Scottish Facilitator Sergeant Paula Warrender said Scotland was committed to the fight against GBV and providing child protection.
Ms Warrender expressed optimism that the partnership that had started would be recorded on score as the two teams would share notes, let alone history tell.
“We are committed to the fight against GBV and ensure child protection and I am positive that this partnership is going to yield positive results,” Ms Warrender said.
Central Province Police Chief Chileshe Mukuka said the course delivered in Kabwe on Monday, February 6, this year was aimed at capacitating the officers to provide better services for victims and witnesses to be delivered with support from Scotland Police as partners.
Mr Mukuka expressed gratitude accorded the opportunity to host such milestone training, citing this would be an entrance to a fruitful fight against vices falling within the armpit of child protection and sexual offences.
He noted the international engagement of such nature as the one between the Police Scotland and the Zambia Police Service demanded personal interest, passion and putting oneself to undergo a rigorous selection process to meet the aspirations rather than being pushed into the ring to fight without any experienced training.
Mr Mukuka said the Police command was also elated that the relationship between Scotland and Zambia would not only be symbolised by the burying of the heart of David Livingstone, a Missionary about 357 kilometres north of Kabwe, but the same had been extended to the actual fighting for the well-being of the community.
“We are grateful for your contribution and dedication towards enhancing the capacity of your Zambian counterparts in service delivery to humanity,” Mr Mukuka said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police for Administration Milner Muyambango has urged the police service to embrace integrity and high attitude as part of the highest standard needed in the fight against sexual offences and child protection.
Mr Muyambango said this in Kabwe on Monday during the official opening of the Sexual Offences and Child Protection Training for First Responders being done between the Zambian and the Scottish Police.
He said the police being the first keepers of the safety of the country through cases reported by victims in the various police stations, it was cardinal that they applied diligence and positive attitude towards handling sexual offences and offer child protection amicably.
Mr Muyambango said the training which was running in phases from February 6th to 17th had been tailored in such a way that officers had to be able to cascade the acquired knowledge and skills to mentor other officers to support the vulnerable in the communities.
He said there was a need for the police service to aspire for a high-quality responsive police service that would be available to all the victims of gender based violence (GBV) irrespective of one being male or female.
“As providers of these services, we must demonstrate that in the systems in which we operate we are committed to ensuring that the vulnerable complaints are taken seriously. All victims should be supported appropriately at the front desk as they navigate the often complex justice system,” Mr Muyambango said.
He said as much as it was long established that reporting GBV cases would be extremely upsetting for victims, every case needed to be handled with care.
Mr Muyambango also commended the Scottish government through Scotland Police for generous support to the Zambia Police Service.
“Through our facilitators I would also like to pass my personal gratitude to our counterpart in Scotland Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone, the descendant of late missionary Dr David Livingstone whose heart still rests under a tree in Chitambo right here in Central Province,” he said.
This move is nicely spotted as in the programming as a third engagement of this nature is expected to run from February 20 to March 3, this year by providing training on sexual offences and child protection for the same trainers who successfully completed the train of the trainer course in Lusaka on February 27, this year.
It is now hoped that the service become pragmatic and focus on appropriate developmental training to all members of the Zambia Police Service to easily respond to calls on the need to act on gender based violence across board.
The police must also not take such training as this baby from the partnership casually as they are obliged to police the community and ensure the safety of all.
The public must also exercise goodwill and cordial relationships at household level by dumping any traits of infidelity, drunkenness and any other that trigger GBV as the case may be in the foregoing.

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