SPEECH FOR A CHAIRPERSON OF ZAMWA FELISTUS NWANERI CHIPAKO AT THE REQUIEM SERVICE FOR SUSAN MUSUKUMA

Dear colleagues, friends and all of us relatives of the late Susan Musukuma. It is very hard for me to clearly state what exact role Susan played in the media allows me to use the words which you all expect me use. She was a role model a real activist, a team player and someone who had a vision for an advanced media.

The current executive committee of PAZA, took over from Susan‘s executive committee but she promised one thing when she left, and I’m quite call on me anytime if you want to consult’’

Since then, Susan remained more active in PAZA than the majority of the members. She became the defacto vice president in the absence of Andrew Sakala, the President of PAZA.

Because of her influence, drive and desire to see PAZA succeed, she ably represented the Zambian media on the Mwangala Zaloumis Electoral Reform Technical committee.

After that there was the Willa Mangómba constitutional Review Committee. When PAZA was almost reaching its decision to boycott the process by declining to make the submissions guess who came along to convince that the boycott in the constitution would have serious negative effects on the future of the Zambian media.

Her explanation was that, PAZA represents the view of media practitioners, but most importantly the Zambian people, through its role of promotion of a free society. As such, PAZA should be above all the divides, be it political or otherwise. She said PAZA was not exclusively an association for journalists, but all Zambians because its role is to promote democracy, by closing all doors that prevent the enjoyment of freedom of expression.

So, when we said but the decision has been made by every association to boycott, Susan as former PAZA vice president did not believe that we must all do something on the basis that other people are doing it. Rather she believed that we can only do so if we are convinced that our action is best for the future of the media .

PAZA changed its decision and asked Susan to chair the special committee, responsible for drafting the submissions. She took it up and the media chapter in the draft constitution borrows heavily from what Susan wrote. The document she produced formed the basis of the advocacy of the media. When you hear people say, a free media access to information, independent broadcasting authority and so on, most of them were picked from Susan’s submissions, presented to the Mung’ombe constitutional review commission.

Now I ask my question, what would have been in the draft constitution, If Susan did not come along to convince us?

From 2009-2011, there are hundreds of practitioners in the public media but Susan’s name was always on top. She coordinated training for women. In summary, ladies, gentlemen and colleagues, Susan has gone after fighting a good battle, and will ever remain as one of the women in Zambia who believed that despite the many huddles, the media fraternity faced in this country, one day , Zambia would gladly rejoice in our collective advocacy for a better media environment. Her death is particularly sad , because today we are standing on the verge of the dawn of a new media environment partly made possible because of her advocacy work. Her death is a challenge especially to PAZA ZAMWA and other journalists to step up and be counted as worthy gallant advocates of media reforms, in order for them to be fully recognised and honoured the same way Susan has and will be.

We shall live to remember her good work. From the journalists here and out there, my challenge to you is that if we truly loved Susan, we must honour her by joining the fight against cancer. On this day she died , each journalist must reach out to at least ten or more women to encourage them to go for cancer screening. Allow me ladies, gentlemen to say good bye to Susan at the point. Susan you may not be there now, but your work is here and no one will ever succeed in erasing and killing your achievements.
Rest well and in peace dear colleague
Thank You

Female Journalists Screen for Cervical Cancer in Honour of Susan Musukuma

E-mail: zamwa@coppernet.zm

For immédiate release

Media Statement

Female Journalists Screen for Cervical Cancer in Honour of Susan Musukuma

Friday, November 29, 2012 – The Zambia Media Women Association is deeply saddened by the death of senior journalist and our member, Susan Musukuma.
Susan fought a year-long battle against cervical cancer, which she unfortunately lost on Thursday, November 28, 2012.
When Susan was diagnosed with the deadly disease, she used social media in urging women to screen for cervical cancer.
ZAMWA would like to continue her campaign and we are humbly requesting all women in the media and in general to screen for cervical cancer in honour of Susan and to adequately inform the nation about the disease.
Cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent with screening tests and follow-ups. Two screening tests can prevent cervical cancer or find it early enough to be sucessfully treated.
Ms Susan Musukuma will be dearly missed at ZAMWA and her work in the media will forever be cherished.
She leaves behind a son.
Issued by
Felistus Chipako-Nwaneri
Zambia Media Women Association
Chairperson

Media training workshop Kasama and Solwezi

Produced by Kulthum Ally

EGM Meeting

Produced by FK Participants 2012 Kulthum Mohammed and Florence Gichoya

<img src="http://zamwa.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/sam_5619.jpg” alt=”EGM Meeting” class=”size-full wp-image-292″ />

Zambia grapple with sexual abuse cases

By Kulthum Ally

LEGAL system in Zambia is still facing several challenges in managing and expedites cases of sexual abuse, particularly, on female children; it was raised at a training workshop of legal practitioners on ‘substantive and procedural laws that facilitate girls’ access to justice.’

“Some of the challenges in dealing with sexual abuse cases include shortage of skilled personnel and lack of modern facilities including DNA machine, leading to poor tracking of these cases,” some law practitioners observed.

The lawyers mentioned another problem in dealing with sexual abuse cases as ‘most cases are solved at family level, and only few are brought in court when evidence has been lost.’

Police report of 2011, indicates that cases of sexual assault of girls hit 1939, with only 511 going through legal procedure, 66 withdrawn, and 329 still under study. “These cases fail to be addressed quickly, due to insufficient evidence,” said Tresphord Kasale, police national coordinator of victims of sexual harassment in Zambia.

He said many families file cases with insufficient evidence, prompting delays in most cases of sexual abuse of young girls. Kasale argues that many sexual abuse cases require a detailed examination, but also due to limited expertise and equipments, cases take longer.

“We have no DNA machine in Zambia; this prompts us to send samples to South Africa for investigation. This takes longer and also is costly,” said Kasale adding that it’s also a challenge to realize evidence from children beyond reasonable doubt.

The police officer said that the police evidence is largely based on the testimony of a child who has been a victim, but sometimes it becomes difficult to obtain evidence from children who fail to completely explain.

“Lack of close cooperation in collection of evidence, is another hitch in sexual abuse cases. We need greater collaboration with children who have abused, if we do not get collaboration with the children, and then the problem becomes difficult to hold,” said Kasale.

According to the Government statistics, about 12,000 cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) were recorded in 2011 alone, which includes two thousands cases of defilement. However, only 1 in 6 or roughly 2000 Cases proceeded to court and out these, 230 cases were withdrawn while some 850 cases resulted in convictions.

Driven by these shocking statistics, the Zambia government has declared to strengthen war on GBV by overcoming all challenges in the legal procedures and public awareness so that perpetrators are brought to justice.

“This tendency to finish abuse cases out of courts should be left immediately, we as stakeholders of human rights, must make sure these cases are solved in law courts in efforts to end the menace in Zambia,” said Alfreda Kansembe deputy minister. of Justice.

She said that the stakeholders have a key role key in bringing about change in the community, particularly working together in ensuring that the GBV offenders are brought to justice.

“We are tired of these unacceptable practices in our communities. We need to join forces against those who commit sexual offences and also ask for the review of laws so that we have tougher punishments to minimize the offence,” said the deputy minister.

Women and children rights activists in Zambia have continued to encounter challenges in tracking these cases including cases of abuse and gender-based violence tarnishing the image of Zambia. One of the challenges is having the community understand a proper definition of a child as far as age is concerned when it come to abuse.

The activists think Zambia community still needs to be educated about the right of the children. “There is laws discrepancy, the community law and constitution differ in defining the age of the children, this provides a room for underage marriage,” said Eugenia Temba, the coordinator of TAAC.

Eugenia pointed out that gender based violence have continued affect women psychologically, as well as health and education, “We should not be silent, we need to act and stop GBV undermining the development of most women and particularly young girls.”

According to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Children’s Charter is a comprehensive instrument that sets out rights and defines universal principles and norms for the status of children.

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (also called the ACRWC or Children’s Charter) was adopted by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1990 (in 2001, the OAU legally became the African Union-AU) and was entered into force in 1999. The ACRWC and the CRC are the only international and regional human rights treaties that cover the whole spectrum of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

It calls for the creation of an African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Committee of Experts). Its mission is to promote and protect the rights established by the ACRWC, to practice applying these rights, and to interpret the disposition of the ACRWC as required of party states, AU institutions, or all other institutions recognized by AU or by a member state.

Children in Africa are affected by many different types of abuse, including economic and sexual exploitation, gender discrimination in education and access to health, and their involvement in armed conflict.

Other factors affecting African children include migration, early marriage, differences between urban and rural areas, child-headed households, street children and poverty. Furthermore, child workers in Sub-Saharan Africa account for about 80 million children or 4 out of every 10 children under 14 years old which is the highest child labour rate in the world.

The ACRWC defines a “child” as a human being below the age of 18 years. It recognises the child’s unique and privileged place in African society and that African children need protection and special care. It also acknowledges that children are entitled to the enjoyment of freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, thought, religion, and conscience.

It aims to protect the private life of the child and safeguard the child against all forms of economic exploitation and against work that is hazardous, interferes with the child’s education, or compromises his or her health or physical, social, mental, spiritual, and moral development.

It calls for protection against abuse and bad treatment, negative social and cultural practices, all forms of exploitation or sexual abuse, including commercial sexual exploitation, and illegal drug use. It aims to prevent the sale and trafficking of children, kidnapping, and begging of children.
END

 

ZAMWA members meeting 7/9/2012

By Kulthum Ally

ZAMWA members meeting on 24 August 2012

By Kulthum Ally