‘Nyau’ arrested for raping a woman in Mchinji

A masked-up traditional dancer in Gule Wamkulu regalia is in police custody in the border district of Mchinji after repeatedly raping a woman in her garden.


According to the Police in Mchinji said the bizzare incident happened at Nyongani village in Traditional Authority Mavwere while the victim was in her garden tendering to her crops.

The Nyau cult member and masked dancer, all costumed up as a Kamano Chilombo emerged in the garden and pounced on the woman and forced himself into her.

Mchinji Police Station Officer, Charles James Mpezeni, says the suspect, Moyenda Jephter, is said to have raped the woman as punishment for not attending a tombstone unveiling ceremony in the village.

“The suspect is in our custody and we will soon take him to court for him to answer charges of rape.

“The woman was busy in her garden going about her business when Jephter dressed up as Kamano came in to her and jumped on her and raped her repeatedly,” said Mpezeni.

Mpezeni said, according to the information gathered, the accused is said to have raped the woman as a punishment after she failed to attend a tombstone unveiling ceremony in the village.

Mpezeni, therefore, appealed to the men in the district particularly the Nyau initiates to desist from sexually harassing women and girls in the district and indeed the entire country.

“We are warning all Gule Wamkulu cult members to abide by the law and never to abuse and violate people’s rights hiding in their Nyau costumes because we will hunt you down and arrest you,” warned Mpezeni.

In January this year, Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) Vice Chairperson Soflain Khumula reminded the Chewa people of their beliefs as they step in the new year advising them to always be law-abiding citizens.

Habiba Osman Executive Secretary for MHRC: We condemn this act

Khumula said just like any other organisation, they have rules and regulations that Chewa people must follow adding that the Chewas are obliged to follow the in footsteps of their leader, Kalonga Gawa Undi.

Senior Chief Dzoole added his voice to the subject matter saying as Chewas, they must always be ready to live at peace with people of different cultures and obey the laws of the land.

“Respect the Chewa traditions and culture, but at the same time, always respect the rule of law and always be law-abiding citizens. Treat others with respect and dignity.

Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Executive Secretary, Habiba Osman said they have learned the incident with dismay and shock promising to follow up the matter.

“It is shocking and disgusting to learn that a Nyau dressed up man raped a woman as punishment for not attending a tombstone unveiling ceremony. Where did he get that authority?

“When did not attending a tombstone unveiling ceremony become a crime? We will follow this matter and ensure that it reaches its logical conclusion, said Osman.

Osman said MHRC condemns in strongest terms such behaviour warning all ‘zinyau’ to desist from such disgusting behaviour.

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