For Immediate Release
16th December 2020
The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is deeply saddened by the increased incidences of killings related to misunderstandings in relationships.
We are particularly concerned that women are again at the receiving end of these heinous crimes with the recent killing of 21-year-old Ms. Mapalo Masiku, a student at Chitambo Nursing School. The Chitambo incident comes barely a few months after the killing of Dr. Tasila Tembo in almost similar circumstances.
The two incidences and more go further to epitomize just how our societal values of love, appreciation, accountability for one’s actions, respect for life, among others have been eroded. It is totally unacceptable that as a country we should remain silent while families and relationships are being bogged down in abuses and misunderstandings that are now ending up in fatal loss of lives. In our collective community safeguards, time is now that we should all champion humanity and invest in avenues that promote tolerance in relationships and decisive steps to part on a peaceful note when dialogue fails.
As the women’s movement, we would like to appeal to families and indeed communities to take seriously aspects of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, especially that which happens between partners. By and large violent relationships start early on and imminent danger signs most often manifest in many ways. We wish to advise partners to prioritize hearty discussions on matters affecting their relationships and indeed none should accept being treated any lesser in line with human rights dictates.
In all this, NGOCC notes sadly, that women have remained at the receiving end of violent tendencies as we continue to lose many of them in their productive age groups. This is contributing to the nation being robbed of the much-needed human capital for various development related pursuits. It is therefore critical that government, through the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, urgently puts in place a “Reflection Team” to include various stakeholders such as the church, community leaders, civil society organisations, private sector, professional bodies and media to deliberate on key societal values enhancing approaches. Our main principle in this should be that violence of any form is destructive and can never resolve misunderstandings.
Our deepest condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones in these circumstances.
Engwase B. Mwale