Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA
IT’S always gratifying for me to get feedback from readers on Gender Focus. As the Bembas say, ‘Umunwe umo tausala nda (one finger cannot pull out lice), I usually look forward to borrowing the ideas of our readers with regard to giving advice on social vices affecting our country. Therefore, this week I would like to share the views of readers on a topic I shared last week, headlined ‘Of sex crimes in the family’. The article was discussing the growing problem of incest in homes, especially the defilement of girl children by their fathers and stepfathers alike.
Surprisingly, a day after my article was published, three men were sent to jail for 18 years each by the Ndola High Court for defiling their daughters.
The victims in all the three cases were small children aged six, nine and 10 – who were all defiled by their own biological fathers after their mothers stepped out of home to run normal domestic errands.
The erring fathers are 29, 36 and 39 years old respectively.
High Court Judge Davies Chanda had this to say about the three unwise fathers:
“In this session alone, we have had three cases of fathers sexually abusing their own daughters, who they are supposed to protect. What has gone wrong that you turn your own daughters into wives? You are behaving like animals. I feel extremely sad.”
A 57-year-old reader shares similar shock sentiments which I share below.
I was just reading an article in the Daily Mail of today (Monday, January 28, 2019) about three men in the Copperbelt who have been jailed for 18 years for defiling their daughters. I also read the article you wrote last week about cases of defilement and incest happening in families by male relatives and fathers against their daughters.
It’s very sad because such things shouldn’t be happening in the family. A man should never have feelings for his daughters or any female relative. It’s not normal.
I think witch doctors have a lot to do with what is happening. Some men do it (incest) for juju because they want to make quick money; others are actually told to sleep with their mums. Children are being infected with HIV because of the lies by witch doctors that sex with a virgin could cure HIV. What can someone get from sleeping with a six-year-old girl? It’s just juju; it’s the lies they are being told by witch doctors. We need to unite and discredit the lies of witch doctors – the media, Church, Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs and NGOs should tell people that there is no cure for HIV.
I am challenging witch doctors to defend themselves on this (defilement/incest) issue. To avoid what is going on, witch doctors need to have a regulatory body so that they are guided by a constitution.
There are a number of reasons why men abuse stepdaughters. Some men would rather sacrifice their stepdaughters for juju than defile their own daughters. But men who defile biological daughters are worse than stepfathers.
Let me advise women to make sure that their daughters don’t get too close to their stepfathers. Stepfathers should not even make ‘bad jokes’ with their stepdaughters because they are foolish men who could cross boundaries.
Not all stepfathers are loose. For example, I am a stepfather of two daughters. When I married my second wife, after the death of my first wife, I found her with two daughters whom I have raised like my own children.
I took them to school and one of them is now a nurse. I treated the girls with respect and reprimanded them when they were improperly dressed.
One of the problems with our mothers is failure to guide girl children on dressing. Women need to know that girls can entice their stepfathers or any man with their dressing. Women say indecent dressing can’t lure a man, but get it from me; it can and it does. The nakedness of a woman has an effect on a man and our children should be told the truth about these things.
As for me, I am the kind of father who talks; the girls need to wear chitenges (wrappers) when they are home; boys can’t go about in vests and sagging trousers. This is a rule I have set for my children.
Our mothers need to guide their daughters on dressing because there are so many bad things happening in homes and society too. But sadly, we see girls going about in mini-skirts and very tight clothes or revealing clothes. It makes me wonder what kind of homes those children come from.
The other thing I want emphasised is the need for sex education in homes. The comprehensive sexuality education that children are given in school should start from homes. Personally, I talk to my children about sex; I can talk to the girls; I can also talk to the boys.
The issue of men sleeping with their own daughters is something we shouldn’t even be discussing because it shouldn’t be happening. To me it’s a sign of serious moral decay in society by people who have no fear of God.
The Church needs to instil good morals on sexuality issues because there is a lot of perverted sex going on. The Church should not keep quiet about this issue because there is sexual immorality of different forms and the negative influence comes from different people, associations and platforms.
While the internet is encouraging perverted sex, and witch doctors are busy misleading the people, the Church also needs to be vigilant about sensitising people on sexual morality.
Men are destroying the lives of children under demonic influence because they want to get rich quickly. The Church needs to be proactive in preaching the word of God because witch doctors are busy cheating people.
In our homes, we need to go back to the word of God and the principle of family altars (prayer platforms). These things (perverted sexual behaviour) can’t happen in homes where families pray together.
Apart from that, we need to give our children some form of sex education because charity begins at home. As parents, we should teach our children from a tender age that no one should touch their sacred body parts. Kids need to know that if any man touches them inappropriately, they need to report such a person to their parents.
In this era, you can’t afford to trust a man with your daughter 100 percent, whether he is family or not.
The family also has the responsibility to impart good morals to their children. Boys should be taught to respect girls or women right from home. Just like Vice-President Inonge Wina said recently, the family should teach children to respect elders, the family also needs to instil good sexuality morals in the children.
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Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA