AWOME spits more fire against rape and defilement

MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-Association of Women in Media (AWOME) in the Northern Region of Malawi on Saturday joined their counterparts from the Southern and Central Regions in holding demonstrations against rampant trends of rape and defilement of young girls in the country.

The demonstrations which aimed at disseminating messages against rape and defilement, which have recently been orchestrated by randy men in Malawi, started from Katoto Secondary School Grounds to Mzuzu City Offices.

Clad in purple t-shirts inscribed: we have written, now authorities, do you part, the female journalists, who were accompanied by Women Lawyers Association (WLA) in the North, and other well wishers, carried placards with different messages appealing to government and other stakeholders like the Police and other law enforcement agents to tighten the laws so as to net stiffer punishments on those found fiddling with the minor girls.

Speaking after receiving the petition, Mayor for Mzuzu City, Gomezgani Nyasulu, said the petition was well received and will be delivered to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, for an appropriate action.

He further said as a city council, they are also doing their part in joining hands with other state actors to end the barbaric acts which are robbing minors of their right to education and freedom of association.

On her part, one of the women journalists who organised the demos, Angela Mkandawire, said as journalists, they have covered and reported a lot of cases of defilement but not enough action is done to stop the satanic act and so what they want is that government should put stiffer measures in place to deter rapists and defilers.

“We have done a lot of stories around cases of rape and defilement of our young girls, but now it’s high time government and other stakeholders like the Parliament enacted stiffer laws to punish such irresponsible men and boys,” said Mkandawire.

While sharing similar sentiments, one of the women lawyers in the north, who participated in the demonstration, Grace Mtawali, said as women lawyers, they are proposing legal reviews; particularly those on defilement.

“What we have seen as women lawyers is that irrespective of the fact that Malawi has progressive laws, maybe minus the penal code on the issues of defilement, we recognise that laws are supposed to be a deterrent to further crimes but we realise; because of the number of cases we are receiving, that some of the laws are not actually deterrent. So, for us, we are proposing and advocating for legal reviews of the laws and also the recognition of defilers as pedal filers because that is how they are recognised in other jurisdictions,” she said.

Recently, two men; one in Chikhwawa and another one in Mzuzu were arrested for allegedly defiling minor girls while coming from school.

The suspects are yet to be tried and if found guilty, punished by the court.

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