Lusaka — PRESIDENT Michael Sata has called for tougher legislation to curb all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Zambia.
The President has also instructed Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba to take to Parliament appropriate Bills which would stiffen laws against GBV.
Mr Sata further said Christian principles such as love, peace and joy should be the guiding light and reflection in the lives of citizens if the fight against GBV is to be won.
"It is in this spirit that we gather today to pray for love, peace, joy and prosperity to continue abiding in all Zambians and residents alike, concerned that gender based violence goes against our declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.
"We are gathered in this Holy place to defend the human rights of men, women, boys and girls whose lives have been turned upside down due to the painful impact of gender based violence which usually manifests in fear, harm, destruction and murder," Mr Sata said.
Mr Sata was speaking yesterday at that Inter-denominational church service to mark the end of the commemoration of the 16 days of activism against GBV at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross organised by three church mother bodies.
Mr Sata said it was sad that reports of rape, child defilement, spouse battering and murder had found a commonplace in today's society and unfortunately, the spirit had also crept into the Church.
He said it was also sad that today's society had some people whose desire was to create fear, harm and destruction of the peace, love and joy that binds society together in respect for human life.
The President said the situation was alarming and required concerted efforts not only from Government but from all stakeholders across Zambia.
Mr Sata who was accompanied by First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba said despite the alarming situation, he was happy that the Church had courage, strength and willpower to stand on firm ground to confront the scourge that had potential to ruin the moral fiber of society.
Mr Sata said Government drew a lot of strength from the support given by the Church in Zambia and was more determined to stand as one to create peace, harmony, joy and love so that every man, woman, boy or girls felt safer at home, outdoors and anywhere at any time.
He said Government has to this effect put in place measures to address such concerns and more efforts were being directed to ensure that safety and peace of the nation was secured.
And first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda commended Dr Kaseba for the wonderful work she was doing in Africa and Zambia saying Zambia was proud of her achievement as First Lady so far.
Gender and Child Development Minister Inonge Wina said she recognised Mr Sata's leadership and personal commitment in fighting GBV as a beacon of hope going by a clear signal that his administration should spare no effort to firmly deal with perpetrators of GBV.
United Nations resident coordinator and UPND representative Kanni Wignaraja said it took shared commitment at all levels to make "Zero tolerance" more than a popular phrase.
She said there would be no peace if there was injustice and inequality where a part of the population lived in fear of physical, sexual and psychological abuse in their homes, schools and on the streets.
And four Lusaka men including former veteran politician Grey Zulu were honoured with trophies and cash prizes for being good men in the fight against GBV.