Malawi Police officers at Hewe Police Post in Rumphi are obstructing the delivery of justice as they are said to be shielding and failing to effect arrest on two suspects accused for defiling two girls.
Nyasa Times shas learnt that defilement cases in Hewe are rampant and that law enforcement officers are simply giving a blind eye to such malpractices more especially when money exchange hands.
Some cases are resolved within the local communities with suspects paying money within the ranges of K20, 000 to K40, 000. This is despite the fact that defilement is a criminal offence punishable by law.
On 25 May this year two cases of defilement were reported at Hewe Police but up to date no arrest has been effected. Medical examination done at Katowo Health Centre confirmed that defilement had occurred.
The first case involved TinkhaniNundwe of Kang’oma village T/A Katumbi, Rumphi district who forced himself on a 14 year old girl (name withheld because she is minor).
The second case involved Nelson Kalela of Chatumbwa village, T/A Katumbi, Rumphi district who defiled anidentified4 year old girl.
Life Concern Organization (LICO) Executive Director Peter Gondwe speaking in an interview on Thursday described the developments as a major setback to efforts aimed at rooting out cases of sexual abuse in the district.
Gondwe said it is the duty of all people to protect children. It is therefore disheartening to learn that police officers are failing to perform their duties and bring the perpetrators to book.
“Both these cases were reported to the police unit but up to date the police are failing to effect arrest on the suspects. All the paper work including medical reports are there.”
“This is outrageous especially thinking that those mandated to uphold the rights of children are at forefront obstructing the delivery of justice,” he said.
He said his organization, which is scaling up a project on protecting children from all forms of abuse in all T/As in Rumphi and part of Mzimba North, has already engaged the officer in charge at Rumphi Police Station Senior Assistant Commissioner Kelvin Banda in order to ensure that justice takes its course and perpetrators are brought to book.
Gondwe said his organization appreciates the support and keen interest that the officer in charge has shown in the case.
He said the O/C had even dispatched a team of investigators from Rumphi police station to Hewe in order to effect arrest.
“Sadly they were tipped off and escaped. However, we have assurance from the officer in charge that the police will launch a major man-hunt until the perpetrators are arrested and face justice,” he said.
Rumphi police spokesperson Victor Khamisi when contacted could neither deny nor confirm the development.
He simply asked for time in order to gather more information on the issues. Further enquiries however, proved futile as his mobile phones were put on voicemail.
Hewe Police Post officer in charge Inspector Musikita Mwale who is married within Hewe community said the police will continue hunting for the suspects.defilement cases.
He could not explain however, why the police has taken time to nail down the defilement suspects.
Cases of defilement are on the increase in the district. Just this month the Rumphi First Grade magistrate court sentenced a CCAP minister Reverend Chiwowa Banda to 14 years with hard labour for defiling a 14 year old girl. Rev Chiwowa Banda was ministering at Luzi CCAP Church.
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