The Zambian women’s movement on Monday condemned threats of violence against female politicians that have been criticising government.
Women For Change (WFC) Executive Director Emily Sikazwe told journalists in Lusaka on Monday that it was unacceptable for supporters of the ruling party to start issuing threats to its critics.
She was commenting on threats issued by the youth group of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) who threatened to gang rape president of the opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Edith Nawakwi.
Nawakwi condemned the government’s recent hike of fuel prices by 15 percent, which she described as irresponsible.
But the youth wing of the MMD said it took great exception to Nawakwi’s remarks which they said was disrespectful, threatening that the youth would gang rape her as punishment for the comments. But Sikazwe said it was totally unacceptable for the youth in the MMD to resort to punish violently those that disagreed with the policies of the party.
She hoped police would respond swiftly to the threats of the rape and ensure that those behind it are arrested and brought to book.
She observed that rape was serious violation of women’s dignity and was not something to be taken lightly, and reminded the youth that rape was a serious crime in Zambia that carried a maximum sentence of 25 years.