Police in the North say they have registered a 100% increase in the number of defilement cases across the region in the first quarter of 2015.
According to a consolidated first quarter police report, a total of 69 defilement cases have been recorded. The figure compares with 31 cases recorded during the same period last year (2014) in the region.
The report also reflects that Mzuzu alone recorded 28 cases of this nature, which shows a huge increase from the four cases registered over the same period last year.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Police publicist for the North, Maurice Chapola, attributed the increase to lack of parental care for the children, high levels of divorces and rituals across the region.
“We as police have established that lack of parental care is one of the factors increasing defilement cases and at the same time, the act is being used as a ritual of generating wealth,” he said.
Chapola further said the police have noted that divorces are the other major challenge contributing to the status quo. He observed that when a woman is divorced and gets married to another man, the latter takes advantage and develops evil feelings about the children the woman brings in the new marriage.
In order to change the present situation, the publicist said police will step up sensitization campaigns across the region to bring down the worrying trend in defilement cases.
“We will extend the sensitization tours to schools and villages, and we are empowering community policing to assist the police in the fight against defilement,” he said.
Chapola has since challenged relevant stakeholders to take a proactive role in protecting the girl child from any form of abuse and report defilement cases to police to assist the law enforcers curb the malpractice.
The report also reflects that Mzimba District registered seven such cases in the first quarter of this year compared to 10 last year; Karonga had seven compared to two that were recorded last year during the same time.
Nkhata Bay had five compared to four last year; Chitipa recorded six compared to four last year; Rumphi had 10 compared to five last year while Likoma recorded one defilement case compared to zero in 2014 the same period.
Defilement, which is contrary to section 138 Part 1 of the Penal Code, is a crime which attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for one who is proven guilty.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :