Mzimba women petition DC over gender based violence

Women in Mzimba have petitioned District Commissioner Rev. Moses Chimphepo over increasing cases of gender based violence in the district.

The women, coming under a united front, Mzimba South Women Forum have since called on authorities to investigate and bring to book perpetrators of various forms of abuse.

Presenting the petition on Friday, the women forum vice Chairperson Charity Lungu said women continue to suffer from gender based violence despite efforts by Non governmental organizations (NGO) and government to root them out.

She said for instance in Mzimba, women have been abused and victimized and yet police authorities have not assisted in bringing the culprits to book.

Mzimba women marching to denounce gender based violence

Justice denied 

On 11 September, 2012, the Forum registered a case of Janingi Banda, of Chimulu village, T/A Khosolo who was severely beaten and had her house and property burnt to ashes.

The matter was reported to Nkhunga police post but no action was taken.

The victim then reported the matter to Champhira police post, about 200km from her village but still, nothing had been done as the perpetrators of this abuse are walking free.

”We find such blatant cases of corruption and denial of justice a huge injustice to women’s constitutionay protected rights and a denial to development and peaceful iving,” she said.

Sexual Harassment

Lungu further said in February, 2012, a pupil at Chigumba primary school Msanthe Gama was sexually harrased by a man at Kanjuchi trading centre. The man attempted to rape the girl.

The matter was reported to Emfeni Police Post but up to date no arrest has been made.

The women condemn the continued denial of control and access to customary land to women based on cultural values.

‘We believe that women have individual human right to control customary land without any linkages to marital status and cultural values.”

”We therefore call upon your office to urge chiefs to come up with measures to ensure women have control over land and agricultural inputs,” said Lungu.

Commenting on the abuse case studies, Mzimba Police Station officer Joseph Chambuluka said the police wil investigate the cases and ensure that the cuprits are brought to book.

And recieving the petition, District Commissioner Rev. Moses Chimphepo said government remain committed to rooting out cases of gender based violence and human right abuses.

He said this is evidenced in the Malawi government’s being signatory to various treaties to end gender based violence such as the SADC protocol, CEDAW and the Millenium Growth and Development Strategy.

The 16 days of activism set aside to reflect on violence against women was initiated by the Womens Global Leadership in New Jersey, USA.

Mzimba Police OC (white T-shirt), DC and Charity Lungu

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