23 November 2012

Zambia: Kaseba Wants Stiffer Punishment for Gender Based Violence Perpetrators

FIRST Lady Christine Kaseba has called for stiffer punishment for people convicted of gender based violence (GBV).

Dr Kaseba said the current sentences that had been meted out on perpetrators of GBV were not deterrent enough as evidenced from the continued rise in the number of cases.

He said rape, defilement and other forms of GBV should become non-bailable offences.

Dr Kaseba was speaking when she officiated at the Zambia Association of Women Judges consultative symposium on GBV yesterday.

"It is common knowledge that the courts in Zambia have been very active and applied very heavy sentences on offenders but we have continued to see a rise in the number of GBV cases. The heavy sentences are obviously not a deterrent and perhaps we need to apply stiffer sanctions on those convicted," she said.

The First Lady appealed to the Ministry of Justice to quickly establish a domestic violence court that would expeditiously deal with the rising cases of GBV.

And Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda called for legislative amendments to allow for the establishment of fast track courts.

She said the Judiciary must be in the fore front in the fight against GBV.

UNDP Resident Representative Kanni Wignaraja said high inequalities between the two genders had resulted in manifestations of social tensions and GBV.

She said Zambia's situation could be reversed like was the case with Brazil where reductions in inequality had led to a reduction in domestic violence.

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