Citizen Forum decries transfer of sexual offenders

Chimbwadzi Citizen Forum of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chilooko in Ntchisi has deplored the tendency by the government ministries and parastatal institutions to transfer officers suspected to have committed sexual offences.

Association of Women in Media demonstrations against the increase on Rape on women and children-pic by Lisa Kadango

The forum’s executive member Evelyn Malanda made the sentiments on Wednesday during an interface meeting with officials from the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE).

With funding from the European Union (EU), NICE initiated and facilitated the establishment of Citizen Forums across the country to enhance transparency and accountability at community levels and they are also practical spaces for reaching out to citizens and their communities.

And in her contribution during the interface meeting at Mbomba Headquarters, Malanda, who is also Chimbwadzi Ward Area Civic Education Officer (ACEC), said the practice is frustrating efforts to tame rising cases of rape and defilement in the district.

Malanda cited the office of the District Education Manager (DEM) as the main culprit in the transfer of teachers suspected to have sexually abused students.

“We had a case of sexual abuse each at Chalundu, Chasolo and Masokole Full Primary Schools. The fourth incident involved a health worker at Malomo Health Centre who was suspected of defiling his own daughter, but all of the suspects were merely transferred,” she said.

Malanda challenged ministries and parastatal organizations to introduce deliberate measures that would help tackle justice sexual and gender based violence at all levels.

Chilooko confirmed the development, describing  the transfers as unfornate.

In a separate interview, the Human Resources Officer in the DEM’s office, Frank Chavula, said the office was not informed about the development.

He suspected that the transfers might have been facilitated without the knowledge of his office.

“But I can assure you that now that we have been made aware, ee will follow up with the head teachers of the mentioned schools and disciplinary action will be taken against the suspected teachers,” he said.

NICE regional civic education officer (RCEO) for the Centre, Enock Chinkhuntha commended Citizen Forums for the role they are playing in contributing towards the entrenchment of democratic governance.

However, Chinkhuntha observed that some duty-bearers are still failing to embrace the forums as they suspect that they are ‘fault-finders’.

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