Innocent Kurira, Chronicle Reporter
CHRONICLE journalist Nqobile Tshili yesterday won first prize in the Musasa Project Gender Champion Awards to honour scribes who have worked towards addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Southern region.

The awards ceremony, sponsored by Spotlight Initiative and UNFPA, was held at a local hotel in the city where the Minister of Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Judith Ncube, was guest of honour.

Tshili shrugged off competition from three other journalists for his coverage of the assault of two sisters from Cowdray Park allegedly by six police officers, who were deployed to enforce lockdown regulations back in May.

The six police officers were arrested and their case is pending before the courts.

Tshili commended Musasa Project for organising the media awards.

“This is motivation for me as a journalist to know that there are organisations and individuals who appreciate the work I do. It’s also an endorsement for Chronicle, who are doing well in covering issues that affect the community. The award is a result of team work at Chronicle,” he said.

“GBV is hurting individuals while breaking communities and as the media we have a duty to bring such issues to spotlight regardless of who is the perpetrator. The Covid-19 pandemic saw an increase in GBV cases in the country and worldwide so the media we have to be more vigilant in reporting GBV issues where women and the girl child are the worst affected. I would like to express my gratitude to Musasa Project for realising the need for honouring gender champions.”

Minister Ncube commended Musasa Project for being a champion of protecting women and the girl child’s rights.

She said on several occasions, she directs troubled women who visit her office to Musasa Project so that they can be assisted.

Minister Ncube said gender-based violence can be economic as well as physical.

“These are the people who assist us in dealing with issues to do with gender-based violence. A lot of women are suffering due to domestic violence and gender-based violence. Women are losing their houses that they have built.

“Some of them have suffered from depression leading to their admission to mental institutions just because of gendered abuse. One of the women in Bellevue suburb came back home from work and discovered that her property had been removed from her house although she had not sold it but some claimants came saying they had bought it. These are some of the challenges that are faced by women,” said Minister Ncube.

She discouraged women from hiding GBV and domestic abuse cases especially at home. Minister Ncube said some women tolerate abuse which escalates sometimes leading to death.

The minister commended the media for bringing to spotlight GBV issues as some the members of the public do not want to openly discuss such issues. — @innocentskizoe