14 November 2012

Zambia: I Live in Fear of Being Raped - Nawakwi

FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) president, Edith Nawakwi, has testified in court that she has been living in fear ever since remarks of "gang raping" her were allegedly made by the former UPND national youth chairperson, Joe Kalusa.

Ms Nawakwi told Ndola acting chief resident Magistrate, Collins Lundah, that she had not been able to perform her duties effectively as a politician because of the same statement.

She was testifying in a case involving Kalusa, who has been found with a case to answer over a charge of conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

Kalusa is alleged to have issued the threat in Ndola through the Post edition of September 17 to the effect that he would organise cadres to "gang rape" the opposition leader.

Ms Nawakwi told the court that she was unable to freely perform her duties as party president especially that violence was on the increase in Zambia.

She testified that it was not the first time that Kalusa had threatened her and alleged that UPND was a violent party that could inflict actual bodily harm on any person.

"I've limited myself from movements because I have been living in fear. I do not need this insecurity anymore, because Zambia is a peaceful country.

Kalusa is under UPND president Hakainde Hichilema who does not want a woman to be president because he thinks women should be in the kitchen. This is serious. Rape is war not pleasure," she told the court.

Another witness, Abigail Chaponda, a Post Newspaper reporter who authored the story in question, told the court that Kalusa had said he would organise cadres to gang rape Ms Nawakwi.Ms Chaponda said this was when she asked Kalusa for a comment on statements by Ms Nawakwi about Mr Hichilema.

"Mr Kalusa called and asked me to withdraw the story but I had already sent it to the editors in Lusaka. The story was finally published and attracted a lot of interest," she said.Kalusa, in his defence, said Ms Ch aponda misquoted him in the story published under the headline 'Kalusa vows to organise UPND cadre rapists to gang rape Nawakwi.'

Kalusa said he resigned from UPND last year and that he was non partisan.

He said he did not recall saying he would organise opposition youths to gang rape Ms Nawakwi in his comment.

Mr Lundah adjourned to December 28, this year for judgment and extended Kalusa's bail.

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