Non-governmental Gender Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) board chairperson Mary Mulenga says the two women recently arrested in Solwezi for burning their partners should receive deserving punishment when found guilty by the courts and should not be spared because they are women.

Late last year, 30-year-old Jeremiah Mbawa of Solwezi succumbed to burns sustained after his ex-girlfriend, Mirriam Chileshe of Ndola, burnt him with petrol.

And on Sunday, 24-year-old Evelyn Simwinga burnt her 53-year-old boyfriend, Samuel Mumba, of Kabitaka area in Solwezi for allegedly infecting her with HIV/AIDS.

The incident was believed to have happened between 22:00 hours and 22:30 hours at House Number 12959, according to Namachila.

In an interview, Mulenga said women should act in a more dignified manner than men.

“We condemn those two women. If you have a difference, does it surely warrant that you should burn your spouse? That you should kill them? No, it doesn’t. Let the law enforcers do what they are good at, arrest them and charge them for that offence. They should not get away with it because they are women. If they were really people with a heart, there are ways in which you can deal with such issues,” Mulenga said.

“Two wrongs cannot make a right. So if a husband is cheating and you break his car, does that resolve a problem? I can put it in a Biblical aspect, if someone shows you hatred, you show love; that is what the bible tells us. So can we be different as women, can we be more dignified than the men [instead of] following them. If they are doing wrong things, should we follow suit? I know it hurts, it is painful but there are better ways in dealing with such issues, especially when it comes to GBV,” Mulenga said.

She also Justified the council’s stance to strongly speak against violations of women’s rights, saying gender based violence (GBV) had a female face.

“If you have been following our comments on cases of Gender Based Violence, I think we are always balanced. The reason why we seem to be coming out strongly when women’s rights are violated against…it doesn’t matter what the case is, whether it is defilement, wife battering or spouse battering, we strongly condemn men for a very simple reason – in the last quarter of statistics for cases of defilement, only few cases were against the boy child, whereas the rest out of more than 300 cases were against the girl child. In that case, it just tells you that GBV has a female face,” said Mulenga.

“It is more women than men that experience this but we are not saying that just because there is only one boy child who has been defiled (indecently assaulted), it is not defilement (indecent assault). No! Any GBV case is wrong against any gender. And I think in the last two to three years, there has been an outcry that we have witnessed an increase in the number of men that are experiencing GBV being perpetrated by their spouses and so for us as an organization, we condemn violence in it’s from against anyone.”