Speak Out on Violence: DORIS KASOTE
THE incident of the woman in Lusaka’s Makeni township who was beaten and undressed has finally been put to rest following the conviction and sentencing of the perpetrators.
However, I doubt if the woman who was assaulted will ever be at peace with herself, especially that she was disgraced after being filmed, with the video going viral on social media.
The perpetrators were last week sentenced to pay a fine of K5,000 or in default three months simple imprisonment.
Two people, Mayana Nyirongo and a juvenile, pleaded guilty to assaulting Edith Sankeni on June 18.
Let me give a brief background to those who may have missed the story. According to the facts before court, Nyirongo’s husband had borrowed a phone from Edith Sankeni. However, when returning the phone, Nyirongo’s husband had removed the memory card. Sankeni was at the Nyirongos’ to get back her phone.
Lusaka magistrate Ireen Wishimanga heard that upon finding Sankeni in the house, Nyirongo got agitated and started beating and insulting the victim, referring to her as a prostitute.
“It was unreasonable for you Nyirongo to beat a guest in your house and assume she was a prostitute, your actions were that of a savage. I have taken in account that your youngest child is three years old and I therefore sentence you to pay a fine of K5,000, in default three months simple imprisonment,” magistrate Wishimanga said.
The court could not have described such an act any better than savagery. Worse still, the juvenile who should have been busy with her books, found herself involved in matters that did not even concern her.
The juvenile pleaded with the court to exercise lenience because she was a school-going child who risked missing her exams if she was jailed. This is what she should have realised in the first place.
The court ordered that the juvenile undergoes counselling.
I hope that this judgment serves as a warning to would-be offenders who are in a habit of taking the law into their own hands.
I hope Nyirongo, like other women who are in the habit of humiliating others, will learn a lesson.
What is even more annoying is that the people who were in the forefront undressing Sankeni are her fellow women. Who were they out to embarrass, Sankeni or the womenfolk, generally?
Men’s voices could be heard in the background rejoicing over the act. I would not be surprised if it was a man filming the whole act.
Strangely, you will rarely see men treat each other in such a manner. Why can’t women do the same? Even if a woman is in the wrong, does she deserve to be stripped?
I salute the police and the courts punishing for the offenders. My prayer is that we will see less of such unreasonable acts by people overwhelmed with emotions. Let’s stop to think about some of our actions.
Until next week, let’s keep in touch: