The president of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, has encouraged citizens to refrain from spying on their spouses' phones. His remarks were part of his appeal to try and lower the country’s growing divorce rate.
According to records, Zambia reported 22,543 divorce cases in the previous year due to violations of marital rights, adultery, gender-based violence, insults, and cruelty. This corresponds to 60 divorces occurring on average each day. The shortest marriage to file for divorce in the nation lasted 30 days, while the oldest was 65 years.
According to figures from the municipal courts, the shortest marriage in 2020 lasted 17 days, and the longest marriage lasted 67 years. The enormous number of divorces last year demonstrates that the sacred vow of "till death do us part" has not been kept.
Mr. Hichilema echoed his statement when he entertained the local monarchy. He stated that "We get married for love; we don't do it to check each other out or to accuse one another."
"Freedom entails a duty to keep it in check and refrain from interfering with the rights of others." "Be forgiving and compassionate." He added.
Many have asked why the institution of marriage is changing today. Spouses have lost faith in the values of matrimony to the extent that divorce is now the only option for resolving differences in the marriage.
GBV in Zambia
Zambia is a patriarchal society, and in most cases, women are on the receiving end of GBV. According to official statistics, 17% of women and more than a third of all women and girls have experienced sexual or physical abuse in their lifetimes in Zambia. The number of reports of gender-based violence in the southern African country is among the highest in the world. The Government of Zambia has made preventing and combating gender-based violence one of its top goals.
Spying on each other’s phones has resulted in physical violence upon the discovery of unfaithfulness. In some cases, women in marriages are physically assaulted if they refuse to give their phones to their partners. So Hichilema thinks one solution is to stop spying on each other’s phones altogether.
Adultery is blamed for the high divorce rate in Zambia.
The high divorce rate in Zambia has been attributed to adultery. According to official statistics, the majority of couples who sought to have their marriages dissolved by the courts did so because of infidelity.
In recent months, a video of a pregnant Zambian woman called Martha circulated online after she was caught cheating red-handed. She later committed suicide because of online bullying. There have been many other cases of people getting caught red-handed in Zambia. The situation is getting worse, and many people have argued that people no longer value marriage; however, others have argued that people have always cheated, and only phones and social media are making it seem as if it's getting worse.
Social media has also been blamed for having negative implications for the institution of marriage. People can easily meet new people and communicate on Facebook and other social media platforms. The reason why spouses would want to spy on each other's phones is because of social media, and many cheaters are getting away with it.
It remains to be seen if Zambians will heed the call of their president. If nothing is done, divorce rates will keep going up.