Attacks on Mutinta a sign of weakness, says YWCA

Attacks on Mutinta a sign of weakness, says YWCA

By Prosper Miyoba

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is setting a bad precedent for his family by allowing police to brutalise a poor defenceless woman in Mutinta M’membe, says the Young Women’s Christian Association.

YWCA Western Province regional coordinator Sandra Makuta said state brutality towards women is not a sign of power but weakness.

Last week, heavily armed police officers stormed the residence of journalist Dr Fred M’membe in Lusaka’s Rhodes Park area with a search warrant.

In the process, the officers harassed and assaulted Mutinta, who is M’membe’s wife and Oracle Media proprietor.

In an interview, Makuta said what the police did was the worst kind of gender-based violence and should not be condoned.

“That is gender-based violence and we will not support it. There was no point of harassing Mutinta when she was protecting her house. She did not have a criminal offence to be treated that unfairly,” Makuta said.

“Police dealt with her like a criminal. It is not a sign of power or what; it is a sign of weakness. Whoever did that was a coward and was sent by cowards to behave in a cowardly manner.”

She wondered why a country that was busy formulating laws and policies to protect women against GBV was violating the same laws.

“It is unfortunate that as a country, we are trying to put up laws to prevent gender-based violence but we are failing to follow them. The State has proven to be the main perpetrators of violence. Remember how the same state [mis]treated Lesa Kasoma of Komboni Radio…and now Mutinta. This is unacceptable,” Makuta lamented.

She said President Lungu was putting his own family at risk of harassment by whoever would eventually succeed him.

“As YWCA we condemn the barbaric action on Mutinta by the police and everyone should condemn it,” said Makuta.

“President Lungu is setting a bad precedent for his family. Power is not forever but what he should know is that when he goes out of power, his family will suffer for his sins. He’s formulating gender policies to please the international community and get recognition while not practicing them, we have to walk the talk as a nation.”