Mzimba DC concerned over  rise in sex crimes

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    The District Commissioner (DC) for Mzimba, Thomas Chirwa has said he is worried with the escalating rates of sexual harassment perpetrated on little girls in the district and has warned that if no serious efforts are employed to fight the crime, the society will be swallowed by moral decay which will negatively affect socioeconomic development.

    DC Thomas Chirwa: The rise in recorded sexual offences is worrying

    He expressed his worry Friday when Life Concern Organisation, (LCO) launched Child Protection Project at labour offices at Mzimba Boma.

    The three year project, which has been bank-rolled by Egmond Trust, UK, to the tune of K190 million, will be implemented in Mzimba North.

    Chirwa observed with surprise that most sexual harassment, especially defilement, is perpetrated by grand fathers, some over 70 years old, in whose hands, the victims should feel absolutely safe.

    “It is unbelievable that a man, in his late 70 years, can pluck audacity to relieve lust into a toddler, as young as four years old,” lamented Chirwa.

    The DC likened over-aged men who have canal knowledge of little girls to beast who swim in the glory of Satanism.

    Chirwa wondered that at times, defilement suspects are people who are knowledgeable with punitive Laws enacted to protect the Rights of a girl child.

    “Some officers who are here, tuck themselves in bar corners with little girls, who are just growing breasts, in odd hours, yet you know the risk that accompanies the enjoyment,” said Chirwa, sending participants into stitches.

    He then asked the judiciary to slap those accused of defilement with stiffer penalties to stamp out the crime which he said was eclipsing social morality of the society.

    Mzimba Police Station Officer, Senior Assistant Commissioner, Louis Chigadula complained that his office faces challenge to successfully prosecute defilement suspects because the evidence is usually tampered with by relatives of the victim.

    He cited helping the defiled girl to take a bath and removing clothes the victim wore when defilement took place as actions which destroy evidence.

    Said Chigadula , “Soon after defilement has occurred, in her dirty state, the victim must be take to police and hospital for thorough examination to prove that defilement indeed took place.”

    He added that in most time, when defilement evidence has been destroyed, the case changes gravity to mere indecent assault, where prosecution team depend on the victim’s narration of the ordeal which becomes very complicated at times.

    The DC thanked Life Concern Organisation for joining forces with government in protecting the little girls from sexual harassment and other forms of abuses.

    Chirwa also appealed to other NGOs affiliated in child Rights to also target Mzimba South, which he said is deprived of key interventions to promote wellbeing of the people.

    Meanwhile, police and judiciary in Mzimba have launched mobile courts where the court sits right in a village and the accused are jailed in front of their wives, in-laws and other relatives, a situation that creates fear to those planning to commit crimes.

    Child Protection Project Manager, Marlex Mkandawire said the objective of the project is to raise awareness among the target communities on the increasing rates of cases of sexual harassment on little girls and to coax local leaders to play active role in implementation of interventions lined up to fight the vice.

    Mkandawire said the project will work with personnel from judiciary, police from victim support unit (VSU), child protection workers and health workers, who will undergo an intensive training on issues of child Rights, management of defilement and how to testify in court during hearing of defilement cases.

    The project will be implemented in Mzimba North, where surveys and police reports showed that violation of Rights of a girl child, through sexual harassment, is rampant.

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