Don’t vote for wife batterers
Published On August 3, 2016 » 3005 Views» By Bennet Simbeye » Opinion
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WE totally agree with Kelvin Fube Bwalya, the deputy chairperson of elections for the Patriotic Front (PF) who has observed that the pronunciation by the Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA) Zambia that the scourge of gender-based violence is a ‘time bomb’ that deserves serious attention.
Speaking on a Radio Phoenix’s Talk-back radio programme aired live in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Bwalya said the sentiments expressed by WILSA-Zambia that the cases of GBV were alarmingly high a situation which called for action.
Gender organisations and the womenfolk in Zambia have good reason to worry since United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has appointed a self-confessed gender offender Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, commonly known as GBM, as his running mate.
It is understandable then why the WILSA-Zambia programmes manager Womba Chikunji has rightly described the scourge as a “time bomb” basing on gloomy statistics of GBV victims in the country and the lukewarm approach to the scourge.
We commend President Edgar Lungu for continuing to condemn GBV openly and we ask Zambians, especially women voters, to beware of leaders involved in wife battering as a pass time as it is the worst form of GBV.
Together with organisations like the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) which was established by a few Zambian women NGOs, WILSA-Zambia is worried at the choice of GBM as running mate since it puts women in a precarious position.
The NGOCC at one time compelled Mr Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, to with immediate effect withdraw the appointment of musician Clifford Dimba, alias ‘General Kanene’ as an ambassador against gender-based violence.
The NGOCC chairperson Sara Longwe condemned President Lungu’s decision to appoint Kanene as GBV ambassador because he had not reformed as a wife batterer.
The President’s decision to revoke Mr Dimba’s assignment had been taken in the light of the court case that Kanene faced on allegations of gender-based violence.
President being a lawyer and respecter of gender rights obliged and revoked the musician’s ambassadorship.
The women organisations and all peace-loving Zambians need to put up a concerted effort to fight GBV since we are witnessing another self-confessed wife batterer GBM being retained as a running mate for UPND president Hichilema.
We feel this is unacceptable, since GBM was in the news for beating his wife Chama when he was Kasama Central PF member of Parliament after a marital dispute.
Mwamba beat up Chama at their Kabulonga residence in Lusaka and later shocked the nation when he said he beat up his wife because he loves her.
According to a medical report which Chama obtained at Woodlands Police Station in Lusaka dated September 5, 2010, she sustained a cut on her forehead and general body pains.
“Fists are alleged to have been used in the act. Beaten and assaulted by a known person,” the report read in part.
On the same document, according to a Dr Lubaki who examined her at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka dated September 6, 2010, Chama sustained a cut on the face, bruises on the left and right shoulder and bruises on the left eye.
Understandably, the NGOCC condemned in the strongest terms the then Defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba for suggesting that when a man beats his wife it’s a sign of love.
Speaking to Qfm news in an interview, NGOCC acting executive director Bridget Kalaba said that her organisation was saddened to see that a person of high-ranking position in Government such as the Defence minister could make negative statements that degraded all women in the country.
The then Gender minister Inonge Wina, who is now Vice-President, also expressed her indignation after GBM said beating of a wife was a sign of love.
The Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL), Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the NGOCC, WILSA and Oxfam released a joint statement expressing outrage over the then minister’s retrogressive remarks which contradicted and hamstrung the efforts being made to end gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.
We are reminding the NGOCC and other gender groupings that the unrepentant wife batterer is now vying for high office.
What will be his take on gender rights since only recently GBM manifested another mysogistic trait when he called Dora Siliya, the Energy Minister “chiwelewele sana” (shallow-minded) simply because she questioned his academic qualifications?
For the womenfolk in the country, they say forewarned is forearmed.

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