By Linda Likomwa
Chiradzulu District Council Monday decried lack of coordination among key players on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) following a quarterly report from Social Welfare Department that captured 17 cases in three months which the meeting described as not a true reflection for the district.
This came to light during a Gender Technical Working Group quarterly meeting which aimed at giving quarterly reports on cases of GBV recorded in the district.
The report read in part, “The office managed to record 17 cases and all were matrimonial dispute and all cases were resolved by the office, but two were referred to court. The major challenges for the office to record a few cases are lack of coordination between key stakeholders and lack of feedback on referred cases.”
Assistant Social Welfare Officer, Friday Kalaundi said the office recorded few cases because people chose where to report cases with the establishment of resource centres in some Traditional Authorities (TAs) while some report to NGOs, police and courts.
The meeting agreed that lack of coordination has been there for a long time hence the establishment of the technical working group to have proper coordination between government offices and non-governmental organization working on GBV.
The meeting discovered that some cases become difficult to follow because the community covers the victims more especially when it comes to child marriages as the age of the children is concealed by their parents.
Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) District Coordinator, Mable Makondetsa said her office managed to record 34 cases and some cases involved children love affairs, matrimonial disputes, land issues and defilement.
She added that of all the cases only two were referred each to police and court while the rest were resolved by the office through mediation and counselling.
The District Hospital managed to record eight cases through the one-stop centre while the Agriculture office reported that they were ending GVB through a household approach which encourages the family to manage its finances together after selling their produce.
District Gender Officer, Joseph Maseya said there was a need for proper coordination between stakeholders and commended other sectors and NGO who submitted their reports to his office.
He added that Child Protection Workers should be engaged to work with resource centres in the community, follow up cases and provide feedback and report to the district office.
The Technical Group was formed early with years and this is the second time the group was meeting.