I AM one of the people that have faced the worst forms of abuse and I am very happy to speak out, says musician Miriam Mukape.
And lands minister Jean Kapata says she is too strong to be broken by people insulting her daily using cyberspace. During a National Women’s Lobby’s Call to Action on Cyberbullying against women leaders at Pamodzi Hotel on Sunday, Mukape, popularly known as Mampi, said she had been facing the worst form of cyber abuse thus called on massive sensitisation on effects of the scourge.
She complained that the bullying was so draining to an extent that those that aspire to join the music industry were discouraged.
“I am one of the people that have faced the worst form of abuse and I am very happy to speak out. My advice is that we need to sensitise a lot of people, even the bible says my people perish due to lack of knowledge, so we need to go out there and educate people on the effects of cyberbullying and how many people are so drained about it. A lot of young people don’t even want to get into the music industry, there are so many people that are talented and can use their art to develop their lives and better their lives but can’t because of Cyberbullying. We are perceived as prostitutes when you are a female and successful,” said Mampi.
“Let’s start with schools, education because most of these people are youths, teenagers and they just go on the space and say whatever they want to say because they do not know the effects. I feel we can start with campaigns and all forms of sensitisation and that way we can achieve our goal.”
And Kapata, the current Mandevu member of parliament, said she had been a victim of insults and ridicule on social media.
An emotional Kapata further urged all women to support one another and not allow themselves to be used.
“At the moment, people are being swindled left, right and center. I have reported to the police, I think Mr Kalala will bear witness with me, I have even reported to ZICTA as well – to an extent where somebody has made K160,000 from the public because I am supposed to be giving land, I am to be giving jobs, I am supposed to be giving loans…maybe they have seen me giving through the Patriotic Front, giving our people money, it’s just a madhouse. I don’t know where the beginning is, where should I go as a victim? Last week, I was being summoned by a police officer who came to my office but unfortunately, I was not in the office, I was having a meeting outside my office, they said I should go to Kitwe and become a witness on the 10th of October…where is the time? Where is the time to go to Kitwe and say ‘yes’ to whatever they want me to go and say?” Kapata wondered.
“Colleagues help us, where is the starting point, where should I go and report? There are some blogs that have been made just to discredit Jean Kapata in Mandevu, insulting me day-in and day-out. Like you said, I am someone’s wife, someone’s mother, the same boys of the age of my child are insulting me just to break me but I always say nobody can break me. I am too strong; I am just too strong to be broken by anyone, baloba ilyauma. From what I heard from Linda and ZICTA, I think I will have to take them to the police, enough is enough ladies…let’s support one another, let’s not allow people to use us to get…I am not a ladder for someone to use me to get to where they want to be. If they want to get into Mandevu, they must wait, 2021 is coming.”
And Zambezi West member of parliament Prisca Kucheka said it was time for women to act and protect themselves against all forms of bullying.
“It’s about women loved women; it’s about women protected women, it’s about time women united, we have to be united and work together. As we live and you know that you are a bully, please stop it,” said Kucheka.
Meanwhile, ZNWL board chairperson Beauty Katebe said it was sad to note that Cyberbullying was on an increase in Zambia. She said it was unfortunate that cyberbullying was ignored as an insignificant consequence of the digital age. Katebe further said the ZNWL was concerned because of the impact of Cyberbullying on women and their progression mostly in politics and leadership roles.
The call to action whose theme was ‘Stand up to bullying, call to action against Cyberbullying of women in politics’ brought together female members of parliament and influential individual from various spheres.