Chief for castration of child sex offenders as Malawi doctors demand rape declared national crisis

The debate on castration as a punishment for those convicted of child sex abuse is gaining ground. Expressing serious concern over the recent spurt in incidents of sexual assault on minor girls across the country, Senior Chief Kuntaja of Blantyre District has backed  calls from various corners that all girl child abusers be castrated as a way of curbing the malpractice.

Women lawyers Mzuzu Chapter in the protests against rape and sexual abuse-pic by Gracin Jeke-Mana
Clad in purple and white T-shirts, the female journalists carried placards calling for stringent measures against sexual offenders, with some calling for castration.

Speaking during a Child Protection quarterly review meeting by Blantyre District Council, supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday, Kuntaja said  laws have failed to prevent sexual assault on minors as the punishments are manifestly inadequate.

“Only castration can be an effective deterrent,” said Chief Kuntaja.

Castration is any action, surgical or chemical by which testicles of a male becomes defunct. Surgical castration is bilateral orchiectomy (removal of both testes), and chemical uses pharmaceutical drugs to inactivate the testes. Castration causes sterilisation (i.e., prevents them from reproducing); it also greatly reduces the production of certain hormones, such as testosterone.

“Just recently, my young daughter lost her eye after one drunk man hit her with a bottle of alcohol when she had gone to draw water at a nearby borehole. All this happened because the man wanted to have access to her body, but she refused. So these kind of men need to be dealt with in a hard way so that such abuses are completely eliminated,” Kuntaja added.

Retired judge Esmie Tembenu, in her remarks said chances were very low that the chief’s proposal would be enacted as most parliamentarians find such laws offensive.

Tembenu said there is need for proper sentencing guidelines whereby a minimum of years is set for such offence and that the castration be the last resort.

“The current Child Protection and Justice Act was finalized in 2005 but was passed five years later because the parliamentarians refused to debate and pass it. I remember myself together Norwegian Church Aid held vigils at the parliament, forcing them to pass it but it took time.

“So if they refused to pass that bill, what more the proposed one which can affect their bodies? However, I have spoken to the Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Catherine Gotani Hara, to map the way forward as things are now getting out of hand,” explained Tembenu.

Meanwhile, Women Doctors Association of Malawi is demanding President Lazarus Chakwera to declare the rise in cases of rape in Malawi a national crisis.

Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, Bridget Malewezi of the association said: “One in every five females face sexual abuse before they turn 18. If 20 percent of the country is in crisis, it means Malawi is in crisis.”

The doctors among other things have called on Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to expedite action to review penalties for rape and defilement to ensure that they are sufficiently punitive.

The women doctors have said they will together with civil rights groups such as Women Manifesto Movement hold nationwide protest marches on Monday against rape and sexual violence.

This follows a recent march by  female journalists under the Association of Media Women in Malawi who called for stringent measures against sexual offenders including castration.

Peter Kalaya, deputy spokesperson for the Malawi Police service, said sexual offences are  rising.

“For example, in terms of defilement cases — in 2018, the Malawi Police Service recorded a total of 1,539 cases. In 2019, we recorded a total of 1,766, whereas in 2020, between January and September, we have recorded a total of 1,501 cases,” Kalaya said. “Meaning that by the time we hit December we’ll have gone beyond 1,766 cases we recorded in 2019.”

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Eboue
Eboue
8 months ago

We need to be clear and have facts because people are just jumping into this blindly. Even though a castrated person has low sexual drive, he still can have an erection and can still carry out these evil acts.
Do these people know what they are talking about or it is just a joke? Just lock them up for life it will deter people from these evil acts.

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