Authorities in Karonga have warned of drastic action against people who are harassing women in the district over their dressing of trousers and mini-skirts.
Karonga district commissioner Paul Kalilombe was commenting on the self-imposed ban by some people of women wearing miniskirts and trousers in the district.
He said this has caused lawlessness and anarchy in the district describing the ban engineered by some traditional leaders as illegal.
“This is uncalled for. The council will engage relevant authorities for action against the perpetrators,” he said.
Until 1994, women in the deeply conservative southern African country were banned from wearing trousers or mini-skirts under the autocratic rule of Ngwazi Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Men were also banned from having long hair.
Government officials have since summoned traditional leaders in the district for a meeting Tuesday, on the issue.
Chief Kyungu, the paramount chief of the Ngonde says he has ordered a probe into the matter.
“I am just hearing the reports as well. However, a formal investigation on the matter has been launched. The said traditional leaders have to tell me on the said decree,” he said.
Human rights activist Undule Mwakasungula has described the harassing of women as barbaric and asked the police to arrest the perpetrators.
And Foundation for Community Support Services (Focus) has called for arrest of the youth who undressed women and girls for wearing trousers and miniskirts in Karonga.
Focus executive director, Kossam Munthali condemned the malpractice calling it ‘barbaric’.
“Focus is urging all law enforcers to immediately investigate the allegations and bring to book all those responsible for the evil attack on women in the district,” said Muthali who also appealed to victimised women to report to police all those who harass them as they enjoy their freedom of dressing.
Officer In-Charge for Karonga Police Station, Sam Nkhwazi said police would investigate the matter and bring perpetrators to book.
“We have not arrested anyone in connection with the incident. We are urging women and girls to report to police if they meet such incidents,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :