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

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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

 

Emelda Yumbe laid to rest

Source: Daily Mail Zambia

FUNERAL

The former Coordinator of ZAMWA Late Emelda Yumbe laid to rest at Mutumbi Cementary yesterday

By CHRISTINE CHISHA

Hundreds of mourners yesterday gathered at deeper life church in Kabwata to pay their lasts to former broadcaster Emelda Yumbe.

Ms Yumbe 65, who died on Friday last week after an illness was the first female broadcaster to cast news at the Zambian Broadcasting services.

She joined ZBS now Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation ZNBC in 1967 where the held various positions until she retired after 34 years in service in 2001.

At the time of her demise, Ms Yumbe was the coordinator for Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA). She is survived by three children and grandchildren; Ms Yumbe was put to the rest at Mutumbi cementary.

Among the mourners present at the requiem mass were former First Lady Vera Chiluba – Tembo, Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Jean Kapata veteran soccer commentator Dennis Liwewe, senior government officials and journalists from various institutions.

Demonstartion on increasing cases on GBV in Zambia

By  Kulthum AllSit In protest on Gender based violencey

GBV  in Zambia is  still Increasing

Abortion Services at Marie Stopes on hold

By  DAILY  MAIL

MARIE Stopes International has been suspended from conducting abortions because of some alleged illegalities detected in the service of the pro- choice organisation.

Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde says Marie Stopes has allegedly been conducting illegal abortions because some of the were being done under the authority of one medical doctor.

He said at a press briefing in Lusaka Zambia yesterday that this was in breach of the Abortion Act 1972.
Northern Province permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba and provincial medical officer Jelita Chinyonga were present at the press briefing.

Dr. Kasonde said the 1972 law requires that three director’s consent to an abortion. One doctor can however only perform an abortion in an emergency. Mr Mwamba recently directed the provincial health authorities to suspend the operations of Marie Stopes in Northern Province.

The Abortion Act 1972 stipulates that abortion in Zambia is legal under certain circumstances, such as risk of injury to the physical or mental health of any existing children of the woman.

It also states that an abortion can be conducted in circumstances of substantial risk of fatal malfunction while an amendment to the Penal Code also allows an abortion in case of rape or incest.

Dr. Kasonde said Marie Stopes will however continue operations in the country and provide other medical services other than abortion services.

The International Organisation has over the past four years provided comprehensive reproductive health services among them family planning methods, cervical cancer screening and screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Other services are obstetric and gynaecological services, abortion care male reproductive health services and male circumcision.

Dr. Kasonde said a team of senior medical officials will be sent to Northern and Muchinga provinces to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed.

“Additionally , the Ministry is working with the Northern and Muchinga provinces administrations to monitor future activities ,” he said

On Whether Marie Stopes will face litigation, Dr Kasonde said the “the law will take it’s ordinary course”.
He said the team comprising senior medical officials will advise Government on lifting the suspension, after conducting a review of the operations of Marie Stopes. Marie Stopes denied engaging in illegalities.

The End

Unsafe abortion increase maternal mortality

By Kulthum Ally
UNSAFE methods of abortion has been increasing in most of the developing countries including Zambia, IPas-Health system report says the problem has increased to 90 percent due to poor methods of family planning and unwanted pregnancies.

The problem puts the lives of many women and girls at risk, most of them have been affected in dissimilar ways such as death, haemorrhage excessive bleeding, sepsis severe generalized infections, intoxication drug overdose, poisonous herbal concoctions and permanent disability due to injury of vital organs.

“These women and girls normally use high doses of medications to abort baby, others use sticks herbal insertion into womb , traditional concoctions for drinking and also washing detergents , battery acids and even Coca cola” says Monde Wamunyima a medical Consultant at Ipas-Health System in Zambia. She added

“Globally, it is estimated that 46 million of women induces abortions every year, nearly 19 millions of them are unsafe, and about 68,000 women die every year due to the complications as a result of unsafe abortion. Unsafe abortions accounts for 13 percent of maternal death while 95 percent of unsafe abortions occur in developing countries as a result of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.”

Wamunyima urged Zambia government and other stakeholders to combine their efforts in sensitizing people in rural and urban areas so as to reduce unplanned pregnancies which mostly results to unsafe abortions.

Ipas-Health System senior Associate Dr Patrick Djemo says there has been quite a number of reasons which cause women and girls to undergo unsafe abortion, this include religious beliefs, traditional belief, ignorance of the law and lack of reproductive health education.

“Religious and traditional beliefs are big challenges in promoting safe abortion. Religious people say it’s a sin to abort, some traditional believers also say it’s a taboo to abort and on the other hand most of the African countries consider it as a murder case” says Djemo.
Following these challenges women and girls have been victims, as they chose to abort secretly by using unsafe methods with the fear of being recognized, forgetting the risks of doing so.

Dr Djemo said safe abortion has been legalized and approved in most of the international treaties as one of women right, sitting the African charter protocol on human and people’s rights on the rights of women in Africa.

African charter Protocol on human and people’s rights on the rights of women in Africa agreed in an article 14 says “health and reproductive rights shall ensure the right to health of women including sexual and reproductive health is respected and promoted includes the right to control their fertility, the right to decide whether to have children, the number of children and the spacing of children…

“…the right to choose any method of contraception, the right to self protection and to be protected against sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, also the right to be informed on one’s health status on the health status of one’s partner, particularly if affected with sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS in accordance with internationally recognised standards and best practices and lastly the right to have family planning education.”

Sally Chiwama, a media expert in Zambia, said unsafe abortion is a cross cutting issue and therefore it should also include the media by having sensitizing and educative programs/articles on the effects of unsafe abortion so as to reduce the number of women and girls who have been dying due to lack of education resting on reproductive health.

“We have been writing stories of pointing fingers at those who undergo abortion, forgetting that Zambian law legalized abortion as long as it is done safely, why we should then continue condemning them as if they are murderers” asked Sally.

On the other note Sally appeals to media houses in Zambia to cover in depth report on abortion and the law to help girls and women gain more understanding on safe abortion and the effects of unsafe abortion.

Some study results indicates that although women feel conflicted about their reproductive health decisions they still feel like they have made the best decision for their lives. About three quarters (about 76 percent) felt like they had made the right decision and the 70 per cent felt like they had control of their lives.

However 47 per cent reported feeling like mother, 37 per cent reported feeling ashamed of their abortion and 36 per cent had asked someone to keep her abortion a secret. Close to half of these women said that they felt it was good to have a chance to talk about their abortion experience during the survey, indicating that increased opportunity to openly discuss abortion decisions making would be welcomed by women.

According to the statistics of the World Health Organization WHO year 2011 showed that preventing unsafe abortion at the community level which involve client’s means women and pharmacist, unsafe abortion contributes significantly to maternal mortality worldwide killing approximately 47,000 women each year.

In Zambia 591 maternal deaths occur for every 100,000 live births, and roughly 30 per cent of these deaths are due to unsafe abortion (central statistical office et al 2009).

Despite the broad grounds under which the termination of pregnancy act of 1972 legalized abortion, safe abortion services are not widely available in Zambia, forcing many women to seek unsafe abortions.

In 2009 the Ministry of Health, University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and Ipas undertook an operations research study in Zambia, primary to introduce medical abortion (MA) and demonstrate models for safe abortion services and community interventions on safe abortion services and community interventions on safe abortion to the extent allowed by the law.

Results have showed that preventing unsafe abortions and the unwanted pregnancies preceding them could save women and the country hundreds of thousands of dollars. Twenty Eight hospitals and health centres in Lusaka, Kafue and on the Copper belt were selected, assessed, and its staffs trained to provide treatment for unsafe abortions (post abortion care or PAC) and to provide safe and legal abortion services.

The sites were monitored from January, 2010 although September, 2011 to examine service utilization and quality, additional information was collected to capture provider and client perspectives on abortion care.

In addition eight local community- based organizations were selected raise awareness in communities on the preventions of unplanned pregnancy, the dangers of unsafe abortion, the abortion law in Zambia, and where to access safe abortion services.

Local pharmacy workers were also trained to respond to clients seeking information on unplanned pregnancy in a more compassionate manner, to provide more accurate information on regimens and usage of medications abortion and to provide referred information to women seeking information about safe abortion services in a health facility.
ENDS

Declaration of women right on the constitution

 

Women’s Rights