While the rest of Zambia was joining the world in observing16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the international Human Rights Day, a gang of women in Ndola chose to give an unforgettable gender lesson to a cheating husbands’ lover.

According to the police, a Ndola wife, identified as Precious Kapambwe stormed a drinking joint in a gang of friends to confront her husband, a Mr Harrison Mwanza, who was enjoying some beer with his lover Denise Mwanakubwila. Unfortunately, upon seeing his wife and the gang charging towards them, Mwanza bolted, leaving his lover in hot sauce, literally.

The brutal gang of wives dragged the 21-year-old accused lover to a house where they forced her to strip naked. As punishment for (allegedly) sleeping with their husbands, the women shoved a bottle of Castle Lager into the private parts and poured hot chili, much to the horror of the poor young lady. To show their wrath to the whole world, one of the gang members filmed the horrific episode and shared it on social media.

We were stunned to learn that a woman, who needs no induction to the reality of how excruciatingly painful it would be to undergo genital torture with such grisly devices, would do something like that to a fellow woman. This was worse than being gang raped; it was worse than what slave owners did to their captives. And it was all captured on camera to further mortify and degrade the dignity of a woman accused of sin. Why Zambia, why?

Remembering that during the 16 Days of activism against Gender Based Violence, the line minister called for the castration of male sex offenders, we wondered what kind of punishment she would recommend for these merciless female offenders who have shocked the entire world with their brutality on their fellow woman.

Quite alright, we have observed that this seems to have been a well calculated operation by the said gang of brutal wives, and it appears to us that they had been hunting for this ‘cheating’ couple for quite some time because they were too prepared for the showdown, and the husband wouldn’t have run away if Precious was a mere drinking buddy. But even assuming that the accused lady was guilty, this measure of punishment cannot be justified.

This operation was criminal because the aggrieved wives took the law into their own hands, and it was also foolish because they ganged up against a symptom, leaving the sickness on the loose. Did those women expect that the cheating husband would reform if they mangled the genitals of his lover? Precious wept and vowed never to sin again, but will these women succeed to mutilate each and every other girlfriend that Harrison Mwanza may have in his phonebook? How stupid!

Yes, we admit that there is a serious moral decay in some marriages nowadays, but the manner in which couples resolve their domestic differences has a strong effect on the rest of society. We have always held the view that if marriage counselors have failed to resolve your issues; if pastors and spiritual counselors fail to bring peace in a home; it is better to separate and preserve a life.

We do not encourage promiscuity in anyway, but even outside marriage, logic and common sense dictates that when faced with such a situation in a relationship, one has to deal with their partner before pointing a finger on the outsider. This is because it is simply unsustainable to chase after intruders from your relationship for the rest of your life.

Looking at the age of the Ndola victim, we can’t help but caution young ladies to slow down a little on life. Before deciding to engage into a relationship with this married man, Precious needed to ask herself how she would feel if her future husband did exactly the same thing to her. She is even lucky that she survived the wrath of Mrs Mwanza’s gang members, otherwise her life would have been taken away in an instant because that’s what insecure wives do nowadays. But all that risk for what? A couple of cold beers? This is so unfortunate.

We also want to throw this indictment on parents who pressurise their daughters into getting married at a particular age. This has led to a lot of bad desperate decisions among the young girls who believe that when that age limit passes, no man would ever look at them. Some parents may argue that “we don’t pressurise our daughter in any way”, but even asking “when are you getting married” is pressure enough.

Sometimes this pressure comes from brothers and other elderly family members; they don’t understand how that question affects someone’s decisions. The girl is left with no options but to start looking for marriage in all directions. Such pressure actually takes away from the longevity of marriages; because the bride and groom were not granted ample time to know each others’ weaknesses and strengths.

Family pressure will force a girl to look for marriage even among married men because she is naïve and believes when that wealthy, good-looking husband says, “I will leave my wife to marry you”. But when a calamity comes knocking from a botched marriage hunt, the same relatives who were fueling her desperation start condemning the daughter for disgracing the family.

Wise parents don’t pressurise their daughters into marriage. They simply invest their last penny into the girl’s education. When this girl attends university and gets a good job thereafter, it won’t matter at what age she gets married, and that decision is left to her. When the girl begins to feel a little too old to live under the parents’ roof, she will simply move and live independently. After all, she has her own salary to support herself and the rest of her family.

We salute the police for arresting the Ndola gang that inflicted the barbaric assault on a poor victim of a cheating husband, but this development is a reflection of what ills our society, from which we must all, as citizens of this country, draw lessons.