On October 12 2022, Socialist Party President Fred Mmembe claimed in a post on his Facebook page that the serious acts of criminality had been limited to gender-based violence. His statement follows a press statement from State House issued on October 11 2022 with the heading, “President Hakainde Hichilema today hosted the 13 gender-based violence survivors at State House”. Dr. Mmembe wondered how serious acts of criminality could be limited to gender based violence.
iVerify Zambia has determined as misleading the claim by Socialist Party President Fred Mmembe that the serious acts of criminality have been limited to gender based violence. Dr. Mmembe’s was reacting to a State House press statement headlined “President Hakainde Hichilema today hosted the 13 gender based violence survivors at State House.” In a posting on published on his Facebook page, Dr. Mmembe wondered why serious acts of criminality perpetrated against the 13 girls could be limited to Gender based violence. In arriving at the conclusion that Dr. Mmemb’s claim was misleading, iVerify Zambia scrutinised
the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No 1 of 2011.
According to Part 1 of the Act under the interpretation clause section 3 the definition of gender-based violence includes “violence that results in, or likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to the person, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
The act further defines “physical abuse” as “use of physical force against another person, including the forcible confinement or detention of another person and the deprivation of another person of access to adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, rest or subjecting another person to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
In terms of the number of acts that may amount to gender-based violence, Part 2 of the Act states that a single act may amount to gender-based violence. Based on the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No 1 of 2011 Act, the acts of criminality perpetrated against the 13 abducted girls amount to gender based violence. Therefore, the claim by Dr. Mmembe that serious acts of criminality had been reduced to Gender based violence is misleading.