Malawi Police in Ntcheu are puzzled with the trend of defilement cases in the district, saying the district has so far registered 57 cases this year.
Ntcheu Police Station Community Policing Coordinator, Inspector William Bunya, disclosed this over the weekend during a community sensitisation meeting organised by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Dedza Diocese in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Champiti in the district.
He said the district has not only registered high number of defilement cases from January to November 2020 but it has revealed that most of those cases involve girls under the age of 10.
“The numbers of defilement cases are so rampant in the district. So far it has registered 57 cases from January to November this year but what is puzzling is the fact that over 90 percent of the convicts are HIV positive and are on ARVs. Worse still most of the girls are under the age of 10,” said Bunya.
He then urged school going children in the district to report all sexual harassment incidences to police or relevant authorities for action.
“This trend makes us suspect the increase of these defilement cases could also be fuelled by ritual beliefs,” he said adding that Police will not only continue with awareness campaigns but also increase the number of campaigns as the district commemorates 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
Programs Officer for Dedza CCJP, Horace Kasudze, concurred with the Police that cultural beliefs are escalating sexual abuse in the communities as revealed in the cases registered in the district.
Kasudze further said ignorance of Gender related laws by the communities is also a big challenge that is contributing to the vice.
“We have seen from the discussions that there are various issues surrounding sexual offences. However, ignorance of Gender laws is among the major factors contributing to the rampant increase of sexual offences,” said Kasudze.
A women representative at Ntcheu District Council, Ronney Mnthambala, while expressing shock with the trend asked courts in the district to expedite such cases besides giving stiffer punishments to all perpetrators involved in order to address the problem.
Dedza CCJP is implementing a gender empowerment project in the area of T/A Champiti in Ntcheu with financial support from Misserior, a grouping of Germany Bishops.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :