Inkosi Kampingo Sibande of Mzimba has vowed to fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and child labour which have been on the rise in his area.
The influential chief made the remarks on Thursday at his Eswazini headquarters during a day long sensitization meeting organized by Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) with support from the NGO Genger Co-ordination Network (NGOGCN).
“There are a lot of GBV cases happening in this area which are being reported mainly due to husbands who have travelled to South Africa seeking greener pastures. Once their economic status improve, they treat their wives like punching bags and marriages breaking up without valid reasons leaving women and children with nothing to live on,” he said.
According to the chief, in the past a lot of women have been suffering in silence but now they are able to report cases to either the police and traditional leaders.
“But we still have some who are afraid to report their cases mainly because of traditional beliefs but we have put in place measures to help us reach out to them,” said Inkosi Sibande.
Among other things, the chief said they have created community victim support units, revamped Community Based Organizations and community based child centers to sensitize people.
On child trafficking, Inkosi Sibande cited ‘ghost marriages’ and promises of good jobs in South Africa as the main contributing factors.
“There are some middle men who identify a girl and a man based in RSA with the aim of setting up the two to start a relationship even thought they don’t know each other. Sometimes a man might start sending the girl things and money which at the end of the day make parents to force her into marriage.
“But when such a girl go there, she finds that she was called for some other reasons among them being turned into a professional prostitute,” he added.
The traditional leaders have also established bylaws which are aimed at keeping all the school going children in class.
Eswazini Social Welfare’s Child Protection Officer Yohane Chikwalimba said although the problems are still high, with the interventions being put in place things are changing for better.
He said currently people are able to report GBV, child trafficking and child marriages.
“We are able to receive about 20 cases of GBV per month and 3-4 cases of early marriages per week,” he said adding that with training and civic education, the problems can be put to rest.
MCC is an umbrella organization for the 25 Christian Churches and 20 Para-church organizations in Malawi.
The Council was established in 1942 to facilitate human transformation following the image of Christ, promoting holistic development, and fostering unity, peace, justice and love among the human
The NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO GCN) was established with the objective of coordinating activities of NGO dealing with gender related and women’s rights issues in Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :