Mayor for Lilongwe, Juliana Kaduya, has bemoaned duty bearers as well as stakeholders in Mtandire Ward to evade the culture of silence in reporting perpetrators of gender-based violence.
The call was made on Saturday at Kamkodola School in Lilongwe where female councillors brought together stakeholders as well as different duty bearers to sensitize them on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as well as encouraging them to go for Covid-19 vaccine.
Speaking during the function Her worship Mayor Juliana Kaduya highlighted the culture of not reporting perpetrators on cases of abuse, predominantly rape cases, which are still rising in the area.
“There are still people who don’t want to come out, speak out and report cases that are happening in their houses as well as their communities.”
“We want people to come out and report cases of abuse and other related violations because we are hearing that cases are happening behind the scenes,” Kaduya lamented.
Kaduya enlightened stakeholders to go for Covid-19 vaccine as well as to pass the messages to people so that they should be vaccinated.
She said people should not be discouraged by false allegations spreading on social media saying those are just hearsays as the vaccine has no harm at all.
“We have noticed that a lot of people are not going for Covid-19 vaccine. We are encouraging them to go and get vaccinated for their own health, they should disregard speculations that are pulling down people to go for the vaccines,” Kaduya said.
Mtandire Ward Councillor, Ruth Chingwalu Njirayafa, describes GBV as being very rampant in her ward citing some instances where the perpetrators are the very people that are supposed to safeguard the children as well as the families.
“I am encouraging people to refrain from the culture of silence in my area and report any form of violence to relevant authorities.”
”Sometimes it’s sad to note that people that are involved in the malpractices are people who are supposed to give protection like uncles, brothers, biological fathers, mothers as well as neighbors among others,” Njirayafa explained.
She further asked the audience to regard Covid-19 vaccine serious saying that people should not hesitate to have their jab.
Senior Group Chigoneka said the initiative is like an eye opener to people in the area saying he will make sure to convey the message to his people in the area.
“I will emphasize to my people to join hands in ending GBV as well as report any forms of abuse. The messages are very timely as there are lot speculations on social media misleading people.”
“Among other issues, I am also encouraging my people to disregard any false allegations against Covid-19 vaccine but to go and get the jab,” Chigoneka said.
The awareness brought together representatives from different sectors such as: Police, Health, CBO’s, Schools, Mother groups, Development Committees as well as Church and other religious affairs among others and is being implemented by initiative from UN women as well as Gender Coordination Network among other organizations.
By Esnath Kalawe