The Non -governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) welcomes the High Court landmark ruling in which Judge Betty Mung’omba has acquitted Elizabeth Lungu of Mtendere Compound for murdering her husband Anthony Nkhoma.
This judgment resonates with our sentiments advanced in earlier statements that most of the women who kill their husbands do so in self defense. In many instances where women kill their husbands, investigations have shown that such women would have been victims of domestic violence who act in self defense. We further note that in the past, courts have found women in similar circumstances guilty of murder without giving due recognition of the circumstances that would have led to the death.
We, however, wish to state that we do not condone any form of Gender Based Violence (GBV) whether perpetuated by women or men, neither are we justifying GBV perpetuated by women. Our call is to investigative wings to consider the extenuating factors in cases where women have been accused of murdering their spouses.
We reiterate, our calls for families to get involved in resolving family problems in marriages and relationships where there is a serious breakdown of spousal relations for us to arrest the rise in cases of women accused of murdering their partners and vice versa.
As a women’s movement, we applaud the judiciary for taking steps in appreciating the extenuating factors surrounding women who find themselves in cases of GBV. The rest remains for us as a society to engage couples into counseling and alternative dispute resolution so as to make marriage safe for all.
Sara H. Longwe