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Lack of Information on Sexual reproductive health cause of High Maternal-complications

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Duah Owusu-Sarfo has attributed high maternal complications among communities in rural areas to lack of information on sexual reproductive health matters.

Mr Owusu-Sarfo said there was need for intensive awareness sensitization in the communities on sexual reproductive matters. He said if communities both females and males were equipped with knowledge on safe motherhood programmes such maternal complications and deaths could be prevented.

Mr Owusu-Sarfo who is on familiarization tour of North-Western province said this when he paid a courtesy call on Senior Chief Mujimanzovu of the Kaonde people in Solwezi yesterday.

He told the chief that UNFPA would embark on sexual reproductive health programmes and other related programmes in his chiefdom to sensitize the communities.

Senior chief Mujimanzovu was highly elated and assured the UNFPA chief that he would always work with the organization saying issues of sexual reproductive health and family planning were very critical in his chiefdom.

He said it was saddening to note that all girls in his chiefdom who sat for grade nine last year got pregnant.

The chief said parents in his chiefdom need a lot of sensitization because they are fond of marrying off their school going children at tender age thereby denying them education and exposing them to maternal complications as most of them are too young to handle pregnancies.

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Opposition claiming that Bill of Rights will promote Homosexuality-Wina

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says the Government is aware that some people in the opposition are misrepresenting the contents of the Bill of Rights by insinuating that it promotes homosexuality. Ms Wina, who was speaking when she held two separate rallies in Nkeyema and Kaoma districts, said that voting for the referendum would result in the enhancement of the Bill of Rights which would

consequently lead to improved service delivery in the country.

She urged the people of Western Province to vote ‘yes’ in the August 11, 2016 referendum as doing so would entail that Zambians will in future have enhanced access to education, health services, food, water and sanitation as well as other legal guarantees that provide respect for human dignity.

Ms Wina urged the people of Nkeyema and Kaoma districts to vote for President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF) so that the development projects the party had started could continue.

She said that under the PF Government Zambia had recorded unprecedented development strides and the country would only positively change if President Lungu was given another mandate to rule for another five-year term.

Ms Wina, who also took time to explain the new electoral process and referendum question, said that President Lungu had respected the people of Western Province by appointing one of their own to be his running mate.

She said that her appointment as vice-president and presidential running mate signified that President Lungu had respect and faith in the Zambian women and it proved to the girl-child that they equally had leadership potential.

Ms Wina, who also introduced some PF candidates in Nkeyema and Kaoma, challenged opposition leaders who claimed to be rich to show what they have done for the poor, saying that when she was in the opposition herself she managed to build two health facilities in her constituency.

And in Kaoma’s Mangango constituency several people from the UPND and MMD defected to the ruling party saying that they appreciated the development efforts that were being spearheaded by the PF Government.

Ms Wina, who welcomed the defectors led by former Luampa UPND parliamentary aspirant Simon Nyundu and former Kapili ward MMD councillor Likwashi Likonge, urged them to woo more people from their former parties.

Earlier in Nkeyema District, Ms Wina unveiled a tractor, harrow and water pump worth K377, 000 which were bought by the area’s local authority using tobacco levy paid to the council by Japan Tobacco International.

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Homosexuality: Should it be criminalised

The case of the gay couple that have decided to co-habit publicly in Malawi is interesting. Homosexuality in Malawi is a criminal offence and so it is in Zambia. Amnesty International publishes a world map where they colour red any country in which there are human rights abuses. Zambia is in red, not because of political prisoners but because it criminalises homosexuality. Many developed countries no longer consider homosexuality as a criminal offence but consider this as a human rights issue. Africans tend to be conservative and traditional on this matter and many of the readers will find the practice ‘offensive’ and ‘barbaric.’ On top of this, Zambia, has declared itself a ‘christian nation.’ There is no doubt that once this issue is brought up, there will be many who will come up with an arms length of Biblical quotations in support of the ban against the practice.

Let me make it clear from the outset that I have no doubt in my mind that homosexuality is un-natural. Indeed I go further to say that its practice is morally wrong. But, what I question is whether it constitutes a criminal offence. There are at least three main questions that should be considered before an act or practice is made illegal.

First: Is it an offence to persons? Second: Is it destructive to property? Third: Is it an offence to the State, i.e. does it interfere with governance?

I may be mistaken, but nearly every good law must fall into one or more of theses categories. There are many things that are morally repugnant but they are not criminal offences because they fall outside these principles. Adultery is morally wrong and illegal and rightly so, because ‘another’ person is offended. So are slander, abortion and murder. Libel is an offence against a person by attacking his character. Theft is illegal too because it concerns property and persons. Treason is offence against the State. There are some illegal practices that one would not classify as immoral. For example, drink-driving and over-speeding, but there is a potential to harm another person.

So, coming back to homosexuality, can it be classified as a criminal offence? The practice is arguably immoral but should the taxpayer’s money be spent on taking these people to court and incarcerating them in prison for something that they have no natural power to overcome on their own and is between mutually consenting adults? Wouldn’t resources be better spent to understand why people come to have this alternative sexual outlook? Homosexual practice is a moral issue that one has to answer to in their heart and before their Maker.

I do not think that the State should get involved in this. It may not be long before Zambia is in the world news again with another ‘comedy of errors’ trial, just like Malawi. In actual fact, it may be that the law enforcers in Zambia are casting a blind eye to this ‘breaking of the law’ going by the Vice President Rt. Hon. G. Kunda S.C.’s statement to the House of Parliament. Homosexual practice is rife in Zambia. Issues of sexual health are not adequately tackled if we hide our heads in the sand and pretend that this does not happen. There may be a case to revisit this archaic colonial law and expunge it from our statutes.

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