Malawi Police Inspector General Lexten Kachama ordered an ‘obscene’ placard to be removed during a demonstration by concerned citizens against gender based violence GBV) in Lilongwe.
Demonstrators were carrying placards with various messages but the one which attracted divergent comments on social media was handwritten with explicit mention of women private parts in both Chichewa and English.
Kachama is said to have called Police providing security at the demonstrations to remove the said placard and let the demonstration continue without the one carrying obscene message-placard.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Kachama confirmed to have ordered police to remove the placard because it was demeaning to women.
“It was too much, it was demeaning to women. Anakhala ngati awavula azimayi onse (It was like all the women were undressed). We cannot allow that,” said Kachama.
Police removed the offensive placard and allowed the demonstration to continue.
The demonstration comes in the wake of various cases of gender based violence especially against women which saw a 30 year old Lilongwe woman being stabbed to death by her former boyfriend.
High profile people who participated in the demonstrations included Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, human rights activists and members of the diplomatic community.
Meanwhile, Police arrested Beatrice Mateyo who was carrying the offensive placard.
The demo which started from Area 18 roundabout through parliament and Capital Hill roundabout, to Lilongwe City Council offices was led by Chairperson for Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, Jessie Kabwila who, during one of the stopovers of the march, branded the GBV perpetrators as cowards who are scared of successful and independent women and thus shield their cowardice through physical violence.
She said: “Let’s get each other clear here: This demonstration is not against men. It is a demonstration of our disapproval against the barbaric acts of gender based violence against women which are perpetrated by cowards who in turn, are tarnishing the good image of this country’s civilized men.”
Kabwira also refreshed the sorrowful memories of the women who had been killed through GBV, including that of late Miriam Siula who was viciously stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend for allegedly having refused to get back into relationship with him.
“As concerned citizens, we are in deep shock with the recent death of a young woman; late Miriam Siula who was murdered by her ex-partner in Chilinde. There have also been many cases of Gender Based Violence in form of physical abuses through brutal beatings of wives by their husbands who unfortunately are our own law enforcers,” reads part of the petition which has been presented to the Ministry of Gender, Disability and Social Welfare.
The activists have since demanded, through the petition, that among others, all teachers who engage in any form of gender based violence must be fired by their respective institutions.
“We call upon the Head of State to issue a statement as the HE for She Ambassador to condemn gender based violence in all its forms,” reads one of the demands in the petition.
The petition was received by Deputy Minister for Gender, Clement Mbukwa, who promised to submit it to the relevant authorities for relevant action.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :