Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima says she is saddened by the increase in GBV cases despite the courts meting out stiff punishments.

Justice Mambilima said this at the official launch of the Ndola Gender Based Violence Fast Track and User-friendly Court, Thursday.

“The setting up is a culmination of the efforts of the Judiciary and the UN to rid communities of GBV cases. Justice to GBV [victims] should be extended to all even in rural areas. Cases have continued in our country despite the stiff punishment metted,” Justice Mambilima said.

“We have metted stiff punishment to even life imprisonment, but the cases continue to be on the increase. 2017 we recorded 21,504 cases in child defilement, rape, Assault Occusioning Actual Bodily Harm and others. It (GBV) is mostly perpetuated by relatives and people they depend on. One of the drivers is traditional myths, like if the husband does not beat the wife, there is no love.”

She observed that there was also an rise in cases of women murdering their husbands after a dispute.

“There is also a rise in acts of violence by women to the part of killing their husbands, 21 GBV murders were recorded in the first quarter of 2018. We have confidence in the court. So far at this new court, 169 cases have been filled in the last two months in Ndola. We are determined to dispose off these cases on time,” said Justice Mambilima.

And Ndola High Court Judge-in-charge Emilia Sunkutu the coming up of the fast track court would speed up cases of GBV.

“Cases of GBV here are on the increase. This, however, does not derail us from the bigger picture. Previously it could take several months to conclude cases but now it will be a new thing,” said Judge Sunkutu.

Earlier, United Nations resident coordinator Janet Rogan revealed that 58 cases of GBV are recorded in Zambia everyday.

Rogan said Copperbelt had a disturbing high number of child defilements.

“58 cases of GBV are recorded everyday in Zambia. Reported cases on the Copperbelt will rise by the opening of this court. On the Copperbelt, there is a disturbing high number of child defilements,” said Rogan.