Chief Kasoma Lwela of the Ushi people in Chembe in Chembe district, Luapula province says cultural beliefs and tradition is hindering progress in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV), in his chiefdom.
Chief Kasoma Lwela who has clearly condemned the vice, states that he will not tolerate lawlessness in his chiefdom, being done in the name of cultural beliefs and traditions.
In a statement issued to ZANIS, the traditional leader has also bemoaned the rise in GBV cases in his chiefdom, saying he will ensure that the by-law that condemns the vice of marrying off young children, defilement and rape, is tightened and effected on would be offenders.
Chief Kasoma Lwela has since encouraged the law enforcement agencies, to bring to book perpetrators of such crimes, as they are becoming rampant in his chiefdom.
And Agness Mwewa a Paralegal Officer in Kasoma Lwela zone in Chembe district has also bemoaned the rise in the GBV cases, with most being defilement and marrying off young girls, leading to young children being traumatized.
Mrs Mwewa explains that her desk receives cases on a weekly basis but the challenge has been shielding perpetrators by family members, saying they cannot report each other because they belong to certain clans.
“We fail to persecute offenders because of this clan belief, which is making more children in the district vulnerable, ” she complained.
Meanwhile, District AIDS Coordinating Advisor Churchil Mutale and Victim Support Unit Coordinator Sergeant Gladys Chilumbu have both encouraged the community members not to wait for the law enforcement agencies to look for offenders, but instead report the issues as soon as they happen, or at least within three days of occurrence.