The Zambia Police Service says Gender Based Violence has robbed Zambia of the much needed development because some people who are supposed to develop the country are incarcerated.

And musician Brian Bwembwa alias B-flow has observed that the gender disparities that exist between men and women in Zambia have led to violation of women’s rights.

Speaking at an Oxfam Zambia sponsored TV programme dubbed “I care about her” on Muvi Television in Lusaka, Zambia Police gender coordinator Lloyd Mushauko confessed that GBV had taken away the development that Zambia deserved.

“Gender based violence is a crime and we as Zambia police are here to ensure that the vice is fought and eliminated from our communities because GBV is no longer a family affair, it borders on national interest and it involves all of us. Gender based violence has taken away the development that this country deserves because in our holding cells are all sorts of people and even some of the people who are supposed to develop this country are incarcerated; they are there in prison because of GBV related cases. So I would like to call upon the general public and people in the communities to make sure that they work with the police and ensure that they report these matters that border on gender based violence and together we can eliminate this vice from our communities and from this country,” Mushauko said.

Mushauko also disclosed that police officers were also perpetrators of GBV because in most cases they were quite confrontational with the victims who went to police stations to report cases.

“Sometimes even the police have been perpetrators of violence because there are times when a man is physically assaulted by his wife and he rushes to the police to report the case but then instead of helping him they would start laughing at him and calling him all sorts of names that he is weak and can’t defend himself from his woman or put her in place. But then this ‘I care about her’ campaign from Oxfam has really helped us a lot as Zambia police because we are also undergoing trainings and after the police become very friendly people because they are made to understand to arrest situations and how to handle victims of GBV regardless of their gender. This time you can go to any police station and you won’t find an officer that will abuse you because now we have a more human face and can be talked to in sober manner,” said Mushauko.

And B-flow said the gender disparities that exist between men and women had also contributed largely to GBV against women.

“The gender inequalities that exist between men and women in our communities have contributed largely to GBV against women because there are number of things that society generally recognises as something that can only benefit men and not women. So all these are some of the things that I as a musician is trying to bring out in my songs, I am trying to show the world that a woman is as much important as a man in a home, a community and in the country as a whole because there are men up to date who stop there women from working or going to school because they are scared that other men will look at them, you see? That in itself is GBV because there is no way you are going to stop a woman from going for work just because there are other men out there. So these are things we as musicians are trying to bring out and we are working with everyone, everywhere even in rural areas and come next year, I shall continue with my anti-GBV campaign countrywide,” said B-flow.

Meanwhile, Generation Alive programmes manager Womba Wanki noted that the patriarchy system of living had also contributed to the general acceptance that women were a minority in society.

“We live in a patriarchal society where women are generally considered a minority and this promotes violence because there is this thing where men now want to be beating there women anytime they like just to show that they are powerful and in all that, a woman is supposed to be submissive and endure everything. Then the other thing is that women also suffer from economic abuse, they can’t be productive or they will be accused of trying to overpower men. Women also suffer from cyber bullying for simply being women and to these are some of the things that this campaign is trying to bring out which is a good thing,” said Wanki.