Zambia National Women’s Lobby chairperson Beauty Katebe says the 18-year sentence that the Ndola High Court slapped on the two women who inserted a bottle into another woman’s private parts was not harsh and the convicts deserved it.

Last Thursday, Ndola High Court Judge-in-charge Emelia Sunkutu sentenced two Ndola women after convicting them of indecent assault against Denise Mwanakumbwila and occasioning her actual body harm by inserting a beer bottle into her private parts.

Reacting to the judgement, netizens took to social media, noting that the 18-year sentence was too harsh, with others said the judge should have considered the women’s children.

Below were some of their comments:

“I feel sorry for them, 18 years is too much! They should have considered the women’s children,” Grace Chipundu stated.

“Guys, let’s just be human here. We know it was bad, but the years are too much,” complained Osward Kalamba.

“We all sin differently and the sentence is rather too long. Moreover, the victim also committed adultery and what charge was she given together with the boyfriends. God is watching,” Esther Lubinda observed.

“If this information is true, the judgement was unfair,” stated Kenneth Mwenda.

“The sentence is exaggerated! It has to be appealed against,” another added.

But in an interview, Katebe said what the two women did to a defenseless woman was more harsh and they deserved the sentence.

She advised women to speak to their cheating husbands as opposed to attacking their fellow women.

“Those that are saying the sentence is harsh, I understand because I am a woman and we advocate for the women’s participation. But if we support a situation where a woman has a husband, who is promiscuous and the next person you want to pounce on is another woman, I think for that we are not going to encourage the support. The punishment is not harsh because what they did to their fellow woman was harsher. I think we have no problem with the sentence. We want women to begin to understand that, once you find that your man is promiscuous, it’s not for you to go to your fellow woman, it is for you to speak to your husbands and begin to question why they are behaving that way,” Katebe said.

She said if the women felt they could not live with their husbands after cheating, they could also file for divorce.

“There is divorce, also. If you feel you cannot stay with a promiscuous man, it is better you leave him. Men are not labelled that they are married. If they don’t have respect for you, those are the people you should talk to. Now, look at what has happened to those women. This is a deterrent to the women; they should know that no woman in this country can go and propose to another woman, it is the men that go for them,” said Katebe.

“We want our women to begin to understand that they should be confronting their men! You have seen that most times when they find their men with another woman (caught) red-handed, they would rather let their husband flee and get the woman to be beaten, that is not correct.”