North-Western Province Permanent Secretary, Willies Mangimela has encouraged traditional leaders to establish one stop centers for Gender Based Violence (GBV) in their respective chiefdoms so as to enhance a coordinated multi-disciplinary management of cases.
Mr Mangimela said the establishment of the centers will enable services such as continued psychosocial support for the survivors which he said is paramount in reducing vulnerability of men, women, boys and girls to be provided at community level.
He said this in Solwezi today in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Chihili during the official opening of the Start Awareness Support Action GBV multi-disciplinary training for traditional Leaders and service providers.
“It is also important that communities have some safeguards for prevention of child abuse through establishment of some committees such as Anti-GBV and child protection,” he said
Mr Mangimela said a community that tolerates GBV will affect the development of the nation as survivors my not realize their full potential and contribute positively to national growth.
He said government appreciates efforts by stakeholders of training traditional leaders in matters of addressing gender based violence in their respective chiefdoms.
Speaking earlier Zambia Centre for Communication Program (ZCCP) Regional Coordinator, Ian Kapongo said his organization considers traditional leaders as key partners in fighting GBV as cases are more pronounced in traditional setup.
“We are more interested to work with traditional leaders because they are custodians of tradition hence need to involve them as key partners to fight the scourge. We are aware that our royal highnesses are already doing something to end this bad vice,” he said.
Meanwhile, chief Mumena of the Kaonde speaking people of Kalumbila district has described the interventions by ZCCP and KWATU programmes of fighting GBV with involvement of traditional leaders and communities as timely.
Chief Mumena said there is still a lot of shame and stigma that goes with GBV in communities which needs to be addressed.
“We have also realized that early marriages are another concept of GBV,” he said.
Chief Mumena has called on police victim support unity and other organisations dealing in matters of GBV to make community sensitization an everyday routine by working with committees established at chiefdom levels.