As the world celebrated valentines day, women in Mashonaland West province chose the day to educate locals on ways to eliminate gender based violence.
In conjunction with Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe a number of ladies organised a march which took place in Chinhoyi’s central business district.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Mashonaland West chapter chairperson, Key Mufengi Ncube, speaking to the media, said there was no reason for them to celebrate valentines day as a number of women were becoming prisoners of love and dying at their partner’s hands.
“We saw today being the perfect day to communicate with our partners in regards to how we feel about GBV and tell them that we need to be loved and protected everyday not just on the 14th of February.
“Crying for the innocent souls is also a reason for this demonstration, one being of the recent horrendous murder attack on a local Chinhoyi woman, Priscilla Kakondo in a suspected gender based violence act,” she said.
“These past two years, we have witnessed 3 deaths of women in the hands of their spouses or partners in Chinhoyi alone, which is a sign that although the world celebrates Valentine’s day, it is prudent for us to also alert the world of how women have become prisoners of love.”
Priscilla Kakondo was allegedly murdered by her partner in Chinhoyi a week before Valentine’s Day.
Her body was found at a dumping site days after the incident with bruises, strangle marks and burns.
Chinhoyi police spokesperson confirmed the incident but could not divulge more information as he was waiting for investigations report.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Mashonaland West chapter coordinator, Jane Mazhambe urged women to open up as a way of curbing gender based violence.
She added that many women across the province were living in abusive relationships but could not let go because of societal expectations.
“Women are living in fear out there, fear of being judged by society, fear of being neglected after opening up to what is happening in their relationship and marriage, societal expectations are leading them astray.
“Opening up is a necessity for others to help when need arises, if you keep quiet neighbours and friends assume all is well, when the truth comes out it might be too late or you will be dead which is sad.”
The march was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Zimbabwe Republic Police and other stakeholders.