Zambia: Justice Ministry Confirms Legality of Female Boxing

FOLLOWING the incessant differences in the Zambia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZPWCB) on the legality of female boxing, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that female professional boxing in Zambia is legal.

ZPBWCB chairperson, Nelson Sapi said in a statement to the Times yesterday that after having followed up the issue of the amendment of the ZPBWCB Act in 2007 with the Ministry of Justice, it was confirmed that Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili was right to inform the nation that the Act was actually amended to include female boxing in 2007.

"This is to confirm that the process of normalising female professional boxing in Zambia was started by my board in the year 2002/3 after being one year in office as board chairperson."

"As we all know, Zambia has been affiliated to the World Boxing Council (WBC) since Independence or there about. After the WBC introduced female professional boxing, all international boxing bodies like WPBF, WIBA, WIBO; followed suit and of course it was obvious for the ABU and CBC to follow suit and this is where Zambia belongs."

"To cut a long short, our board did present our interest to the Ministry of Sport who advised us to come up with all other amendments and with the involvement of the Ministry of Justice, a full list of amendments were submitted to the Minister of Sport who took the document to Parliament in the year 2007 for a debate."

"The ratification was done at that time though there was a process for the same bill to become law in 2010 which cannot be blamed on anyone but the system of operations between Parliament and the Ministry of Justice. This submission or statement has been confirmed by our Director of Sport Mr. Bernard Nakachinda and our Honourable Minister of Sport (Chishimba Kambwili) who was in opposition at the time," Sapi said.

Sapi said because of what has been reported in the media lately, he made an effort to go to the Ministry of Justice during the week to confirm whether the ZPBWCB Act was amended and verified that the Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Act number 33 of 2010 was enacted with the date of assent being August 14, 2010.

"The amendment of section 9 of the old Act which referred to a male boxer now appears on section 7. Of the amendment Act which has since removed a male boxer and replace by a person as a boxer, a wrestler of 18 years of age or older," said Sapi who attached a copy of the amended Act.

He said with the latest revelation, he hoped it now clears Sports Minister that he was right in telling the nation that female professional boxing is legal in Zambia after Parliament ratified it years back.

"I hope this notification will now afford our Zambia boxing fraternity to know the legality of female boxing in Zambia. In the meantime, we have been advised to write to the Attorney General to seek clarity as to whether female boxing is legal prior to the enactment since it was done in good faith as Zambia would have been 10 years backwards considering what mainly Esther Phiri and now the upcoming Catherine Phiri have achieved by becoming world female boxing champions," Sapi said.

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