According to statistics available at Mponela Police Station’s Victim Support Unit [VSU], in 2019 between January –December, the station registered three women who were raped and in 2020, between January and October, seven women have been raped including an 80 year old woman who was raped by a 24 year old boy in the district.
Speaking during the District launch of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence [GBV] held at Mponela Police ground in the district, Mponela Police Victim Support Unit [VSU] Coordinator, Inspector Merina Tchoka, said it is sad to learn that fathers are defiling their own daughters and impregnating them, urging all stakeholders to be vigilant in reporting such cases to police for arrests.
…”We carry out community sensitizations and many people are coming to police reporting Gender Based Violence [GBV] happening in their respective areas, let us all unite to end GBV in our district. Why Dowa, always Dowa leading in Gender Based Violence?”….lamented Inspector Tchoka.
Speaking earlier, Senior Group Village head woman Jonasi, who is also a Woman and Girl Activist, in the area of Inkosi Mponela, lamented that village chiefs are in the forefront hiding perpetrators of GBV from being reported to police for arrests in fear of creating enmity and arresting bread winners.
Jonasi, whose real name is Chifuniro Ndelemani, a Back-to-School Chief who will be sitting for her Malawi School Certificate of Educations [MSCE] Examinations in 2021, asked men to leave girls that are below 18 years alone so that they can continue with their education and participate fully in the development of their respective communities.
Senior Group Village head woman Jonasi: We will report and arrest you regardless of status.
…”We have many women of your sizes that are roaming about looking for men like you to sleep with them. Go for them, and leave these underage girls alone, don’t destroy their future,’’……said Jonasi.
She appealed to village chiefs to work hand in hand with NGOs working in their catchment areas and the police to end defilement and rape cases in the district, warning fellow village chiefs that those who fail to report GBV to police would be arrested and prosecuted for siding with perpetrators.
In his remarks, a representative of Dowa District Commissioner, Yusuf Laki, said the council is committed to end Gender Based Violence in the district saying all trading centres will be reached out with GBV messages during the 16 Days of Activism to 10 December 2020.
By Vincent Gunde