Nsanje chiefs angry with ‘sex for food’ report in Malawi press

Chiefs in Nsanje have reacted angrily to a survey report which says traditional leaders in Nsanje are soliciting sex from flood victim women in exchange for government donated relief food.

Jephter Mwanza: Conducted the survey

Chief Malemia: Silly report, Nsanje chies are not sex rats

Link for Citizen Empowerment (The Link), a women’s rights body working in Nsanje and several other districts in the country, said hungry and poor girls and women in Nsanje District are forced to sleep with some exploitative traditional leaders in exchange for humanitarian food.

Chief Malemia of Nsanje described the report, published in Weekend Nation newspaper, as silly and aimed at tarnishing the good image of chiefs in the district.

“There is no chief in Nsanje who engages in such malpractices, that is untrue and can never happen,” he said.

He said people should treat traditional leaders with honour and respect instead of sarcasm.

But Link for Citizen Empowerment director Jephter Mwanza, whose organisation carried out the survey, said this came out of the survey carried out in the district.

He therefore said the survey results stand.

Married women, too, are involved in the ‘sex-for-food’ scheme. One such woman, Christina Lobo, also from Mgona Village, said she was in a relationship with an aid worker to get double rations.

Said Lobo as quoted in Weekend Nation: “We offer sex to the elders to keep our positions as well as keep receiving double rations.”

In T/A Makhuwira in Chikwawa, one area development committee (ADC) chairperson, who comes from Chizenga Village, Group Village Head Chizenga, was found in a classroom having sex with a married woman.

Nsanje district commissioner (DC) Gift Rapozo said he is aware of such cases in the district concerning ‘abuses’ of women and girls in relation to relief food and cash although some women and girls are not aware that the malpractices constitute abuse.

However, he said a lot of people cannot come out in the open because chiefs use scare tactics to suppress their subjects.

Said Rapozo in quotes reported by Weekend Nation: “Chiefs are reported to sometimes make announcements to their subjects, threatening to deal with anyone reporting of such malpractices in their villages and this is preventing people from speaking out.”

While Secretary for Gender in the Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare Dr Mary Shawa condemned the malpractice.

Said Shawa: “These are sad developments, but we will need to raise awareness against such malpractices.”

Coincidentally, Nsanje is also where  an HIV-positive Malawian man was sentenced to 24 months in jail with hard labour for having unprotected sex with newly bereaved widows.

The practice of “widow cleansing”, when a widow must have sex after her husband dies, was outlawed a few years ago.

Eric Aniva, known in Malawi as a “hyena”, admitted to having sex with more than 100 women and girls and not disclosing his HIV status.


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Kent Y.G. Mphepo
Countrymen, I personally know Chief Malemia. I also personally know the research organization and those behind it. People like Mr. Mwanza are some of the cream in the country’s development arena. Apart from being my neighbour in Blantyre I have had the privilege of working alongside Chief Malemia in many forums particularly when he was a board member of the National AIDS Commission. He has worked closely with the organization that I worked for and I know what he thinks about culture and development in the Lower Shire. He is not an ordinary man. I always regard him as a… Read more »
che nnungu

Bad governance constitutes to lots of mess in the society. THose governing us should clean up their mess and then even the social media will clean up


As much I might not agree with what the chief is saying….It is also high time Malawian we should scrutinize the veracity of the survey findings…..This is not an independent organization which can come up with the right findings….Remember these are interested organization…..they need money out of the findings they have publicized here….. anyway I might only agree with them if I might have an opportunity of looking at their methodology…… I rest my case


Wa mkachisi amadya zamkachisi. Komanso akazi a ku Nsanje nyere too much iiiii! Mwangolakwitsa kumati ‘malpractice’. This is what Nsanje women enjoy. Ndiye amanyekhula sizinaoneke


Chief Malemia, you dont stay in Nsanje. You stay in Blantyre, How come you refute the allegations made here. This is true, its happening. Inu simungadzidziwe chifukwa ana anu sali mu Malawi Muno. They are outside, Ireland. Find out from those that rely on Food relief items. Inutu ana anu sangapite kumeneko coz ndiopeza bwino. NDIPONSO INU NDI aBUSA NENAZI ZOONZ APAAAAAAA???????????????


this is indeed a poor chief with a chicken head. how would u refute claims ur friends accept they happen? did u investigate to come up with that denial statement? u are a disgrace to the people of Nsanje instead of listening to the voice of reason you rush to refute made public by the victims


Why always these old fashioned Chiefs ask for respect from the common man.What’s so special with idiots.You want the public to hide your rotten behaviour in the name of respect.

Poor brother Malemia, first you should thank the report for the revelation of the filthy and dirty game tarnishing your posts. Second you should condemn those involved in satanic game. Having done that you should go, investigate, do a study, have the proof for yourself and help the government in in aresting the situation by punishing all those involved rather than simply rushing at those who I believe have come out with research and some evidences, otherwise we will not understand you!! Be responsible, otherwise defending culprits without evidence you are downing yourself and that means you are unfit for… Read more »
C 10

Haaaa !

koma chimalemia chingowona kukana .
Pachithuzipa chikuwonetsa ngati ndi chanyere kwabasi .

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